The Balinese follow a unique form of Hinduism that has roots in animism, ancestral worship & Buddhism. The Balinese term sekela niskala means the seen & unseen, the physical and spirit world. To maintain harmony and balance between the two a series of rituals are performed for just about everything. Holy days are occasions for elaborate ceremonies and are planned accordingly to the 210 day Balinese calendar. Some ceremonies are Bali wide and some unique to a particular family or village temple.
If you are invited to a ceremony or happen to come across one on your travels please remember to respect their traditions.
Hindus in Bali apply strict rules regarding temples and ceremonies. These rules mainly concern dress requirements and conditions of ‘sebel’ or taboo such as menstration or open wounds, bringing food into the temple, being physically or mentally ill, being in a state of mourning(for the Balinese this lasts 42 days) and having given birth within the past 42 days. Other rules need to be observered or asked for, especailly during festivals.
Some guidance when attending a temple Ceremony
- always wear a sarong and sash (sometimes these are provided at the start for a small donation).
- do not walk in front of people when they are praying.
- do not use flash or point the camera in someone’s face.
- never sit higher than the priest or the offerings.
- during a cremation ceremony do not get in the way of the attendees, however perfect that photographic moment might be…
- women are not allowed to enter temples during menstration.
We will update you as we attend these elaborate offerings of praise.
Do you have a ceremony memory to share? or maybe a desire to attend one?