Offerings

 
March 3, 2019   Ubud
 
 

Once every five weeks Daria the priest came to the house to bless my different possessions. On the day of the coconut palms he placed an offering at the foot of the largest tree, and went about sprinkling the trees with holy-water. On the day for blessing the pigs and domestic animals he indulgently sprinkled water on my pets as well, the monkeys, the parrots, and even Chengcheng the dog. There was the day for cattle that ploughed the fields; the day for weapons, but I had none; for books, and then the day for blessing the puppets, masks and musical instruments. When these six sacred days had come and gone, the cycle was complete; it was now time to begin once more. Colin McPhee in A House in Bali

Offerings are a big deal in Bali. The most common ones, the ones you find laying on the ground, are usually a collection of flowers and weavings, sometimes with incense, sometimes with food, set on a large green leaf and placed in the path to a doorway or on the sidewalk in front of a business. They are everywhere. Walking on them is fine, it's the act of making the offering that matters.

Other offerings are placed on raised platforms, such as ceremonial bamboo penjors and permanent structures of cement or stone. These platforms are the first things built on a property as you want to start out with a good relationship to the local gods and demons. Yes, offerings are made to the demons, too.

He reminded me that although the house had been blessed by the priest when I first moved in, I had, however, never made offerings for the demons that inhabited the land itself. Disasters would increase until I had done so Colin McPhee in A House in Bali

Since we are approaching a major holiday, Nyepi, the Hindu New Year, the offerings have grown in size. You have to step even more carefully so as not to trip; Ubud sidewalks are sub-optimal. The streets are now fully lined with penjors. Platforms are wrapped in yellow and white fabric. The sounds of gamelan musicians fills the night air, I woke to their practicing at 1 this morning, and there is the occasional glimpse of an ogoh-ogoh.

 
Sml    Med    Big
 
 
Large people in truck      
I'm not sure what role these figures will play in the coming celebrations, they aren't scary-looking ogoh-ogohs (demons).
 
Large people in truck      
I'm not sure what role these figures will play in the coming celebrations, they aren't scary-looking ogoh-ogohs (demons).
 
Large people in truck      
I'm not sure what role these figures will play in the coming celebrations, they aren't scary-looking ogoh-ogohs (demons).
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