Pranata Mangsa (Javanese Wisdom)

August, Beloved
Earth is thirsty and open.
Second crop should come.

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Pranata mangsa literally means season (mangsa) rules (pranata). It is a structured rules for farmers and fishermen in Javanese culture with which they make their plans in growing plants and harvesting the sea. This comprehension was also implemented in Sundanese (major ethnic group in West Java) and Balinese (major ethnic group in Bali). Some European ethnic groups did have this, too like Bauern calendar in Germany.

There are 12 mangsa (seasonal cycles) in Javanese pranata mangsa.

  1. Kasa (Kartika) – Jun. 22 to Aug. 1 
  2. Karo (Poso) – Aug. 2-24
  3. Katelu – Aug. 25 to Sep. 17
  4. Kapat (Sitra) – Sep. 18 to Oct. 12
  5. Kalima (Manggala) – Oct. 13 to Nov. 8
  6. Kanem (Naya) – Nov. 9 to Dec. 21
  7. Kapitu (Palguna) – Dec. 22 to Feb. 2 
  8. Kawolu (Wasika) – Feb. 3-28
  9. Kasanga (Jita) – Mar. 1-25
  10. Kasadasa (Srawana) – Mar. 26 to Apr. 18
  11. Dhesta (Pradawana) – Apr. 19 to May 11
  12. Sadha (Asuji) – May 12 to Jun. 21

The dates are adjusted every four years due to the 365 and 366 days in a year (leap year).

Javanese would grow certain seeds in each mangsa because in those particular mangsa the earth metabolism have specifically different characteristics suit certain plants to grow; and so, growing them will both maximise the crops and mitigate hazards to the soil.

And the Javanese fishermen would go to sea on certain mangsa and wouldn’t in the others or if they went, they knew which directions they would go as in certain parts of sea is in rage or the sea habitat isn’t ready to present crops to the men. Combined with the ethnoastronomy, the pranata mangsa was a powerful tool for Javanese fishermen in their golden era. No more though 🥴

Pranata mangsa was developed to ensure the health, safety and welfare of both the human beings and the environment. That’s confirmed and proven for ages!

However, this powerful pranata mangsa has been left if not forgotten by the owner. Instead the owner has started using the modern no-season farming and fishery where earth is raped and tortured to cater for the human being greed. The Javanese have betrayed both their own identity and the environment by leaving the pranata mangsa.

Do we really need so much? Or do we want so much?

Maybe it has come to a time to apologise to the earth goddess (called Batari Sri in Javanese, the one given authority by God to take care of soil) and the ocean god (called Batara Baruna in Javanese, the one given authority to take care of water)— they might have screamed for so long because of us, we who don’t care of the risks of harmful fertilisers and irresponsible sea harvesting both to us and to the earth.

Maybe it has come to a time to start healing them that are almost broken and exploding, and healing ourselves for having been greedy and selfish.

Salam….

Useful link #1: https://www.salamyogyakarta.com/pranoto-mongso/

Useful link #2: https://fpb.uksw.edu/detail_post/news/masih-relevankah-pranata-mangsa-di-era-globalisasi-ini