Daily Offerings Presented to God, Ancestors and Lower Beings

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Daily offerings
Illustration of daily offerings. (Image: Martin Fuhrmann / Pixabay)
  • RITUAL is a form of offering of the people to the Creator, ancestors and lower beings as an expression of gratitude to Gods and ancestors (upwards) as well as gift to lower beings (downwards) to maintain harmony

Hindus in Bali are known to be obedient in carrying out religious rituals. They have confidence that everything they get and enjoy in this life is a gift from God. So, it is their obligation to always be grateful for all that.

Gifts are not only in the form of material possessions but also health, long life, happiness, harmony, abundance of inspiration and so on that support all forms of life’s activities in order to run smoothly.


Hindus perform two kinds of rituals, namely Nitya Karma (daily rituals) and Naimitika Karma (rituals on particular times based on lunar and Balinese pawukon calendar.

Nitya Karma is a simple yajña or ritual carried out every day, such as the Tri Sandya (praying three times namely in the morning, afternoon and evening) canang offerings and the yajna sesa. Yajña sesa is performed after the devotees have finished cooking the rice and before eating. Yajña sesa is assigned to all bhutas or lower beings.

Meanwhile, Naimitika Karma is a ritual carried out at certain times, for example based on the Balinese month (sasih) and pawukon. Naimitika Karma includes universal religious celebrations such as Nyepi, Siwaratri, Saraswati Galungan and Kuningan as well as others. Meanwhile, the rituals associated with the temple establishment include piodalan (the anniversary celebration of the temple’s establishment), the cycle of human life (birth, welcoming, tooth filling, weddings and cremations).

In essence, the ritual does not have to be large or luxurious, but according to ability and sincerity. It is meant to maintain harmony upwards and downwards. Then, implementation of this ritual is always recommended to also pay attention to the harmony between desires and abilities. By doing so, it expected not to bring in sufferings.

Celebrations on particular days

When you encounter Balinese women put small rice offering in front of their entrance gates in the morning, it belongs to yajna sesa. This offering is also put at some points such kitchen, entrance gate to family temple, rice granary, yard and others within the house compound.

When you see there are penjors (bamboo pole with festoons and offerings) installed in front of house compounds on both side of the roads, it is the celebration of Galungan Day held every 210 days (1 pawukon year). Meanwhile, when Bali is closed for the whole 24 hours and no lights or lamps are allowed it is the celebration of Nyepi or Day of Silence. It is celebrated every year (Caka Year).

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