Being in Bali lets you experience the endless series of offerings, purification, processions, dances, and dozens of other religious rites that Balinese devote their lives to.
They believe that life on earth is one stage in the continuity of existence. The cycle begins at birth and it is a cherished event. The umbilical cord is preserved and kept for life, and the birth is attended by the entire family and a holy man who invokes spiritual powers to aid the delivery. Death is merely a rite of passage when the soul is freed. It will commence its great journey before being reborn into a future generation.
There is a myriad of festivals in Bali. Some are dedicated to the art of woodcarving, the birth of a goddess, and percussion instruments. Other festivals include temple festivals, fasting & retreat ceremonies, parades to the sea to cleanse villages, special prayers for the dead, nights of penance (sivaratri), harvest festivals (usaba), blood sacrifices, and house deity anniversaries (odalan sanggah).
Religious festivals include odalan, which signifies the anniversary of a temple’s founding. These festivals last a couple of days to a week. Temples are beautifully bedecked with flowers, palm leaves, flags and bamboo towers, complete with noisy parades, food offerings, and prayers that add religious fervor to the festive ambience.