One basic principle of Hindu belief is that the universe is structured - things do not happen randomly and it is essential that a balance must be maintained between order and disorder. Spirits are everywhere and ultimately control nature and as such these spirits must be worshipped regularly in order to maintain the balance. Rituals and festivals are the way the Balinese maintain this order. These festivals have great meaning and are the part of the essence of Balinese culture.
Hindus in Bali apply strict rules regarding temples and ceremonies. These rules mainly concern dress requirements and conditions such as menstruation or open wounds, bringing food into the temple, being physically or mentally ill. Being in a state of mourning (for the Balinese this lasts 42 days), and having given birth within the past 42 days. Other rules need to be observed or asked for, especially during festivals.
Simple guidance when attending a Temple ceremony.
- Always wear a sarong or sash
- Do not walk in front of people when they are praying
- Do not flash or point your camera at the priest’s face
- Never sit higher than the priest or the offerings
- During cremation ceremonies do not get in the way of attendees, however great that photo might be
- Women are not allowed to enter temples during their menstruation.