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Directory Home> Bali Art and Culture> Balinese Hinduism
 
BALINESE HINDUISM
 
Temples in Bali are simple walled open yards from which people can communicate directly with their gods and ancestors. Gods and ancestors normally "visit" their human worshippers or descendants during temple festivals (odalan), and during the Galungan and Kuningan holidays. They reside in miniature houses set in the temple, the pelinggih shrines and alight with effigies of gold, coins or offerings.

During the length of their stay, the gods and their companions are symbolically bathed, feted, put to bed and entertained with dances and other shows. Meanwhile members of the temple come and go over three or more days, with offerings and to get their share of holy water sprinkled over them and the offerings during the collective prayers.

There are few societies in the world where religion plays a rolesuch as it does in Bali. The incredible beauty and color that accompany the rituals and offerings, which seem to be ever occurring that Bali is harmonizing the worlds of Man with the cosmic world of the gods.
Even on the brink of the 21st century, Bali is proving that the unique spiritual forces that have shaped the island will continue to act as major determining influences well into the future. Every time a small canang offering, laden with incense and colorful flowers, is laid on the ground; every time a chisel strikes soft wood and carves out the features on a mythological creature; every time a young baby touches the ground for the first time or ashes are offered to the seas; evidence of Bali's living traditions are being manifested, acting as constant reminders of her passion for an authentic existence.
 
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