The Gods Must Be Satisfied

 
March 30, 2017   XF 18-55, Ubud
 
 
Each day she placed a little portion of the food she cooked on a shelf above her pots and pans for Batara Uma, and dropped blossoms and betel leaves beside the little pool in the rocks down near the river (from which we got our drinking water) for the spirit of the spring. Colin McPhee in A House in Bali

One of the first things I noticed in Bali are the ubiquitous little pallets of offerings that take many different forms. They may contain leaves, flowers, fruit, incense, even candy bars.

Before most tourists get up each morning the Balinese sweep away the prior day's offerings from around their homes and businesses. Then throughout the day they create more offerings which are everywhere, both underfoot and perched here and there in little shrines. You can walk on them, it's often impossible not to, and I take it that it's the presentation of the offering that matters.

This daily gift of offerings is meant to appease and please the many gods and demons of Balinese Hinduism.

Offerings range from a small and fragrant flower on each step leading into a compound to more elaborate ones to guard the houses doorway and appease the gods represented by statues throughout the house.

The Balinese spend parts of each day creating and dispersing these offerings around their compounds, often accompanied by burning incense. It's all quite lovely. And it's all quite labor intensive.

The offerings in the following photos are all pretty substantial, but I think that's because I was walking on residential streets. In the more commercial areas the offerings are, if anything, more numerous, but they are also simpler.

 
Sml    Med    Big
 
 
A big offering      
 
A big offering      
 
A big offering      
 
Offering on the path to my house      
An offering is placed at the start of a small path. The tall shrine on the left is sitting in what looks like an empty lot. It could be for the plants being cultivated on that lot or it could be for some planned construction on this site.
 
Offering on the path to my house      
An offering is placed at the start of a small path. The tall shrine on the left is sitting in what looks like an empty lot. It could be for the plants being cultivated on that lot or it could be for some planned construction on this site.
 
Offering on the path to my house      
An offering is placed at the start of a small path. The tall shrine on the left is sitting in what looks like an empty lot. It could be for the plants being cultivated on that lot or it could be for some planned construction on this site.
 
Galungan poles      
Walking down the street this morning, looking at offerings, I couldn't help notice these long poles. They'll be in next week's Galungan festival which, lucky for me, is almost back-to-back with Nyepi this year.
 
Galungan poles      
Walking down the street this morning, looking at offerings, I couldn't help notice these long poles. They'll be in next week's Galungan festival which, lucky for me, is almost back-to-back with Nyepi this year.
 
Galungan poles      
Walking down the street this morning, looking at offerings, I couldn't help notice these long poles. They'll be in next week's Galungan festival which, lucky for me, is almost back-to-back with Nyepi this year.
 
An offering      
 
An offering      
 
An offering      
 
An offering      
 
An offering      
 
An offering      
 
Galungan poles      
 
Galungan poles      
 
Galungan poles      
 
An offering      
 
An offering      
 
An offering      
 
Offerings      
Presenting an offering involves more than just placement, it's a ceremony.
 
Offerings      
Presenting an offering involves more than just placement, it's a ceremony.
 
Offerings      
Presenting an offering involves more than just placement, it's a ceremony.
 
Everyone enjoys the offerings      
Might have better teeth if he laid off the sweets.
 
Everyone enjoys the offerings      
Might have better teeth if he laid off the sweets.
 
Everyone enjoys the offerings      
Might have better teeth if he laid off the sweets.
 
Monkey enjoying offering      
 
Monkey enjoying offering      
 
Monkey enjoying offering      
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