Tumpek Landep: celebrating all things metal

The Balinese have a ceremony for almost everything as a way to show their gratitude to nature and the gods, and most of them happen on Saturdays. On Tumpek Landep, the Balinese celebrate all things made from metal. Especially revered by old blacksmiths, the day is still observed today.

When a Saturday falls on a Kliwon in the week of LandepTumpek Landep takes place. Due to their proximity in the Balinese calendar, Tumpek Landep is often considered part of the Sarasvati day ceremony or the celebration of knowledge, which occurs every six months on the Gregorian calendar.

It is believed that on Tumpek Landep, the god Pasupati bestows intelligence and keenness of mind on humans, allowing them to create objects and tools to ease their lives. The word landep literally means “sharp” or “keen”. Thus on this day, the Balinese celebrate their tools, especially the traditional Balinese daggers or keris. The tools are cleaned and then put on an altar or decorated with offerings. Sometimes, Balinese families pray in front of their cars.

Tumpek Landep is often associated with celebrating anything metal, and as technology advances, almost everything has a metal component, from smartphones to cars. Thus, the meaning of Tumpek Landep has extended to not only include weaponry and farming equipment but also to any tool (preferably with a metal component) that can ease the lives of humans in general. At its very essence, the meaning of Tumpek Landep is not just about celebrating tools but rather celebrating the human ingenuity that has allowed us to create and innovate for the betterment of the world.