Bali Culture

The first thing I noticed in the Bali Culture on my very first visit to Bali is all the Balinese Temples. Some of which are have amazing traditional Balinese architecture. Some of the temples are quite large in size equipped to hold a large congregation of people. Other temples around Bali are only small where the Balinese will put their Hindu Offerings known as "Canang Sari".

These are the Canang Sari Hindu offerings. This is another one of the first things I noticed about the Bali culture. I see these everywhere throughout Bali. On the streets, the beach, in cars, in temples and pretty much everywhere.

Bali Culture - Canang sari offerings

I took this photo from near Kuta Art Markets where there is a large temple. This is one of the many temples around Bali which are places of worship and also where the Balinese perform cultural ceremonies.

Nobody is allowed to enter the Balinese temples unless they are wearing the proper sarongs worn by the Balinese. Another cultural tradition is that ladies are not allowed to enter the temples while they are menstruating.

Bali Culture - Bali Temple

The architecture of the temples is quite amazing and hard to miss when getting around Bali. You will always know when you see a temple by the cultural traditional architecture of the temples.

Bali Culture - Bali Temple

This is the front of the temple.

Bali Culture - Bali Temple

It's also very common to see the smaller temples like this one I found. This smaller temple is where Balinese will place the Canang Sari Hindu offerings.

Bali Culture - Bali Temple

Canang Sari Offerings

The Canang Sari offerings are placed all around Bali by the Balinese people as an offering to the Gods and this is a distinct part of the Bali culture. They are placed on the roads, in temples, on pathways, in cars, on the beach and pretty much everywhere around Bali they are seen. The most common place for the Balinese to give the canang sari Hindu offerings is in the temples.

This is a video I made of a lady giving a Canang Sari offering at a Balinese temple.

This is another Balinese lady placing the Canang Sari offerings to the Hindu Gods at the same temple. There were frequent visitors to this temple.

Bali Culture - Balinese woman giving canang sari offierings

Here is another lady I noticed placing the Canang Sari offering on top of many others in the temple. Some of the temples can also be known as Shrines because they are only small in size.

Bali Culture - Balinese woman giving canang sari offierings
Bali Culture - Balinese woman giving canang sari offierings

I found this large group of Canang Sari offerings on the ground which was quite interesting to see. I couldn't resist to take a picture of it. The Balinese find it disrespectful when tourists tread on these without noticing. So it's a good idea to try to avoid this as a sign of respect to the Balinese.

Bali Culture - Canang sari offierings

Here a Balinese man places the offering outside the temple at his home. Every Balinese house has a temple or at the very least a small shrine inside their homes. In theory there is probably more temples than homes in Bali if you include all the shrines which are known as temples.

The Balinese will usually have a shrine in their place of employment too. It's not uncommon to walk into stores, offices, or any other business establishment and see the shrines with the Canang Sari offerings on them.

Bali Culture - Balinese man giving canang sari offierings outside his home

I noticed a car with a Canang Sari offering on the dashboard here.

Bali Culture - Canang sari offerings in car

Here are some offerings I noticed when walking up a public pathway. I see these everywhere around Bali.

Bali Culture - Canang sari offerings on path

The Bali culture is very deep in the Hindu religion. The Hindu religion began on the island between the period 1001 - 1100 ( 11th century). In today's modern times the culture of the Hindu religion still exists deeply amongst the Balinese people. This is another reason why It's very common to see the Canang Sari offerings everywhere around Bali.

The Balinese Hinduism is also known as Hindu Darma. Art, dance, ceremonies and festivals are all part of what makes up the Bali culture.

Cultural Ceremonies

The Balinese perform many ceremonies throughout life. These are known as life cycle ceremonies in Bali culture. Each specific ceremony represents certain stages through a human life. The ceremonies are part of the Manusa Yadnya. Generally there are 5 different kinds of ceremonies that are very traditional in Bali. These are the 5 categories of ceremonies:

  • Manusa Yadnya: Ceremonies to represent different stages through the human life cycle.
  • Buta Yadnya: A ceremony that signifies deterring any kinds of demonic or evil spirits.
  • Pitra Yadnya: Signifies acknowledgment of those who have passed.
  • Dewa Yadnya: This is a religious Hindu ceremony performed for the purpose of worshiping the Gods.
  • Rsi Yadnya: A ceremony for the founders of the Hindu religion.

The Tanah Lot temple

Many of these ceremonies are performed in ancient Hindu temples throughout Bali. One of the more commonly used temples for these ceremonies is the Tanah Lot. Tanah Lot temple is situated approximately 20 Kilometers from the capital of Bali, Denpasar.

The Tanah Lot temple is one of the most well known temples in Bali. It is a common tourist attraction. This temple is a signature icon in Bali. Many tourists will visit here and take photographs of the Tanah Lot temple.

The Pura Batu Balong temple is another signature temple which is within close distance to the Tanah Lot Temple. Although not as well known to tourists, it's still known by many.

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Read more about the Bali Culture and Ceremonies

Bali Batik - A traditional cultural clothing worn by the Balinese

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