over the last couple of weeks we've been invited to a few traditional balinese ceremonies. the first one was a temple festival in the village where we used to live. it started in the evening and we had to put on some appropriate clothes at a friends house first…


once there we could observe families from 3 villages arriving to pray at the temple. they all came with their big offerings. every village also brought their own gamelan orchestra. and while the high priest performed his rituals to install the gods in the temple, the villagers were treated to a mask dance performance. the boys were most impressed with the fact that we were the only non-balinese people there….


on the next day there was a big ceremony at my friend kesi's house: her grandson was 3 months old and this was his naming ceremony, where he was allowed to touch the ground for the first time. here he is, little aruna, with his dad kadek, another one of the young people whom i have known since he was a little boy…


since aruna will one day be the head of the family no expenses were spared. the extended family spent several days preparing the offerings, distributed food to the whole village and invited a high priest to perform the ceremony rather then the local village priest…


and 2 days ago the day had finally come for a big cremation in the village where we are staying. over 30 people from 19 families were cremated – but only symbolically, the actual corpses are in the ground. for every family a sarcophagus was build, either in the shape of a lion or bull. the whole village community prepared the offerings for over a months. they erected a whole covered bamboo structure in the center of the village where they built shrines for every deceases person with countless offerings…


this is the area where the sarcophagi were built…


and this is the actual cremation day. the ceremonies went on from dawn until 10pm…

the boys have been very fortunate to see all of this in such a short time…


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