Odalan, Temple ceremony

There is never a day in Bali without a ceremony of some kind. The Odalan is a temple ceremony. The Balinese are honoring the deities that rule over the temple by giving them offerings. There are more than 20 000 temples in Bali, so Odalan is celebrated almost everyday.

Usually people take their offerings to the temple in the late afternoon, after the heat of the day has gone.

The offerings, consisting of fruits, rice cakes and flowers, are brought in on women’s heads and placed at strategic points around the temple. These are blessed with holy water by the temple Pemangku or priest. The pilgrims then pray, are blessed with and drink holy water and then take the offerings home to share with their families. The gods have taken the sari or essence of the offerings, leaving the “leftovers” for the humans to consume. In the evenings, there could be spectacular performances of music and dance by local groups.

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