Today was the most interesting and eye opening day that I’ve experienced on the island of Bali. We got the amazing opportunity to witness the cremation ceremony of a Mangku (priest) who died about two weeks ago. The ceremony was unlike anything I have ever seen and I know it will be impossible for me to explain it in a way that does it justice, but I will try my best.
After a long and early walk this morning, we rushed back to the hotel to get properly dressed for the ceremony. We wore traditional balinese clothing which consisted of a sarong and a santeng for the girls, as well as an udong for the boys (unbelievably handsome pictures are attached). We arrived at the ceremony to see the entire village of Peliaton surrounding two bamboo statues. One was a tower shape that held the priest’s casket at the top of it and the other was an enormous bull in which the priest would later be burned inside.
We were welcomed into the house of the priest and we were given food while they waited for the exact right time to start, which was determined by the sun. Then, all at once, it began and there was loud music, moving statues, chanting, blessings and lots of stuff I cant even describe. The states were brought into a large courtyard and the body was transferred from the casket in the tower, to the inside of the giant bull. The entire bull was burned down with giant flame thrower things until it collapsed and the burning body fell threw to the ground. Then the body was blasted with fire until it was absolutely nothing.
In conclusion, I have no idea what I saw today, but it was kinda cool. Bali’s ceremonies are some of the most elaborate and insane cultural experiences in the world and our group finally got to see one. It’s absolutely impossible for you guys at home to understand what we did today without being there yourself. (Sorry, maybe you’ll get to go next year! : )
(Also, check out photos added to the last two day’s posts!)
First day in Ceremonial clothing!
Cremation Ceremony ~ Prayers and preparations
Firefighters on standby