Canang is one the simplest form of offerings Hindu people presented to the gods. Canang sari consist of beautifully shaped palm leaves which, then respectively added porosan (made of betel leaves which mixed with areca nut, gambier and lime stone then rolled in a tiny palm leaves), a slice of banana and sugar cane and a small piece of kekiping ( a thin cakes made of sticky rice). Afterward, colorful flowers will be added and sam-sam or kembang rampe (finely shredded pandan leaves) will completed the look.
Though simple, each part of Canang bear spiritual significance. The intricately shaped palm leaves symbolize sincerity, areca nut resemble Lord Brahma, Gambier for Lord Vishnu and Lime stone for Lord Shiva. Each color of the flowers also symbolize each gods. White for Isvara, Red for Brahma, Yellow for Mahadeva, Blue for Vishnu and the green kembang rampe symbolized Sang Hyang Panca Dewata.
Canang has also become a livelihood for some Balinese. In the old days, every housewives or girls make canang for their own family. But now, many people opted to buy canang since it is more practical and saves lots of time. But many people still live the tradition by making their own canang.
Lunch time and Bali started to shut down to ready itself for the Ogoh Ogoh Parade. Which is held all over Bali in many villages on the eve of Nyepi Day.
We made our way to Bemo corner in Kuta to stake our spot on the road side to view the parade. At sundown the flaming bamboo torches and gamelan music started and we could see the start of the parade coming our way. The Ogoh Ogoh monsters are works of art, but represent the evil spirits the Balinese want to exorcise from their life's and country. The Parade goes till late in the night.
Next morning at 6am is the start of Nyepi Day, a day of silence for the Hindu Balinese to rid their life's and country of the evil spirits.
For the visitor it means 24 hours in the hotel and all over Bali has shut down. A great time to just relax around the pool or read a good book or watch a few DVDs. The hotel holds the monopoly with food and drinks for the day and some hotels want you in your room at 6pm with the minimum or lights and noise on.
The next morning Bali has a public holiday and most of Bali is still closed , but there is a market on Kuta Beach which is very busy and very cheap and well worth the visit.
My tips for this time is to stock up on snacks and drinks , but don't leave it to the last minute as many others will be doing the same. Check with the hotel about the food it will serve at breakfast lunch and dinner. And if you don't have a DVD player maybe see about hiring one and a few movies and find a good book. Also change a few dollars to get you by for a few days .
Photos of the Parade http://travel.webshots.com/album/579885885Iqxhew
and here http://andysitchyfeet.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/bali.html
Almost all temples in Bali, there are certain rules that you must follow. You are required to dress appropriately before entering any temple. Women should not wear shorts or bare their shoulders.
A sash must be tied around the waist. If the temple requires a sarong to be worn, there is always one for hire around the area. (See picture)
Ladies take note; do not enter the temple if you are menstruating. I ended up staying outside the temples and massage my legs after too much of walking..or sembang kuat (gossiping) with Ngahteng (our supir)
Bali is so strict with its tradition and culture, and we must highly honor this.
If you are in Seminyak only use the Blue Bird taxis, the are good and make sure to ask them to turn on their meter each time you get in. The Blue Bird guys are good and typically always turn on the meter.
Blue Bird 119 - this cab driver is wonderful, nice and you can trust your stuff with him. I used him when going out on an excursion about an hour out of town when I went to Uluato. He waited on my for the hour I was at Uluato, turned off the meter while I waited and I left all my belongings in his taxi!
He hangs out in Seminyak Square.
Galungan (every 210 days) and Kuningan (10 days after Kuningan) are major events in Bali, celebrating the victory of good over evil .
Galungan is a celebration of the creation of the universe, in which the Creator is worshipped, and all the ancestral spirits are called to come down to earth and dwell again in the homes of their descendants. Welcoming offerings are placed in the family shrines, and penjor - tall arching bamboo poles decorated with palm leaves and flowers - are erected at the gate of each home. Penjors are the symbol of Mount Agung, the most sacred Balinese mountain.
Kuningan is the last day of the event, when the ancestral spirits are honoured with food before they leave the earth by dusk.
As you will most probably catch a glimpse of,
are the Balinese and their many ceremonies.
Amongst many of the reasons to have a ceremony for,
there are ceremonies that celebrate
respecting the enviorment.
But by what one may observe
once the cermony has taken place and has left;
there seems to be a problem with trash.
It seems the Balinese get caught up and trapped
under the whole creation of the ritual,
and they don't seem to be seeing the message
that lies underneath...leaving behind
the left overs of the ceremony scattered all around
to be engulfed by the sea or simply nature.
Somewhere in Bali there is a ceremony of one sort or another, some are more important than others, some are held in one of the thousands of temples, others are held in people's home, or in the meeting place at the local Banjar (Area Administration Office).
Sometimes whole streets/roads are blocked and detours have to be made, due to the number of people attending.
You might encounter a procession of a few people or many hundreds of people, some carrying huge baskets of fruit and other offerings to the Gods. If you do encounter this, and you are driving by yourself, then it can be a little bit frustrating, but you must be patient, don't try to pass them, unless you are instructed to do so by the security people, who control the procession, and traffic.
If you intend to visit temples and shrines (which are abundantly scattered all over Bali), ensure that you cover up - legs, arms and shoulders. I would have thought that something like that is common sense and applies generally all over the world with regard to religious sites. Yet, I saw people turning up and tank tops and shorts to visit such places.
If you do forget and find yourself inappropriately dressed, no worries - they have sarongs to lend to you...for a fee of course.
One of the favorite past times
of the Balinese men is cockfighting.
Supposing, gambling is illegal here,
but that doesn’t seem to stir the men away
from bringing out the cash
betting on their favorite cock.
On an event such as this,
you will see the owner of the cock,
holding his pride, before it gets into the ring.
He then places the killing hook on the cocks leg.
In these events,
it is mostly, if not totally, attended by men.
A circle is formed amongst them
and they place 2 cocks in the ring to start the fight.
Then RING….the fight begins.
While the cocks furiously fight,
yelling and cheering fills the air,
until finally one is beaten down to the ground.
One sees the blood scattered across the floor.
Not sure if this is such a good thing
with the bird flu hovering in the air.
Once the did bird is thrown in a corner,
they bring out the next cocks for the following battle.
Ngaben or the Cremation Ceremony is the ritual performed to send the dead through the transition to his next life.
The Priest consults the Dewasa to determine the proper day for the ceremony. On the day of the ceremony, the body of the deceased is placed inside a coffin which is then placed inside a sarcophagus in the form of a buffalo (called Lembu) or a temple structure called Wadah made of paper and light wood. The Wadah will be carried to the village cremation site in a procession.
The climax of Ngaben is the burning of the Wadah, using fire originating from a holy source. The deceased is sent to his afterlife, to be reincarnated in the future. When all the procession has done the ashes are placed in the sea, and it is the final separation of the soul from the body.
I collect Cookbooks but it doesn't stop me from going online and finding even more delicious dishes to try. Today I discovered this wonderful website and thought I would add it to my Bali pages... It really made me drool when I found the recipe for Gado Gado! This yummy vegetarian dish is really worth trying and I urge you to give it a go by following the instructions on this site. I make my own satay sauce as I think it is much nicer than any commerically made satay sauces that are on the market, if I don't feel like making one I enjoy using the 'Lobo' brand from Thailand.
Mmm! Yummy!! :-)
#When visiting a Balinese house, please remember to remove your shoes before entering.
#It is also customary when visiting to bring a small gift for the host (oleh-oleh), make sure it is wrapped. When it is accepted it generally just taken and put aside with little or no fuss. This is because they are saving face, theirs and yours. How? If the present is not to their liking you won’t see that, thus you save face, and if he unwraps it immediately he appears greedy, hence he would lose face.
#If there are people sitting in front of the house you are visiting, just say ‘permissi’ when passing and crouch slightly.*
#Don't think you have been 'had' if after a purchase the shop assistant takes your money and touches all the items for sale in the shop. This is done on the first sale for the day and is a way of transferring the good luck of your sale to other items in the store. Apparently the luck rubs off!!*
#When food or drink is placed in front of you, it is polite to wait until invited to begin (silakan minum/makan-please drink/eat) if you're dining with Indonesians. Also it is considered rude to refuse a drink even when not thirsty (as a house guest).
#If you drink tea and having a pot in a restaurant and wish for another pot. It is impolite to call over the waiter, instead try turning the lid upside down on the pot. This allows the waiter to save face.
#When you want the attention of the waitress either say ‘permissi’ or stretch out your arm and wave them over, make sure it is your right arm and that the palm is facing down.*
#Wear a sarong when entering a temple (BYO, as not all temples will supply). Permission should be requested to enter when ceremonies or prayers are occuring. Thongs, bathers, shorts or strapless tops are considered impolite.
#Do not enter a temple if you are bleeding. Ie. Menstruation, wounds/cuts. Or if you are recently bereaved. Babies who haven't cut a tooth yet and mothers of said babies. Women who are pregnant.*
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