Thursday, September 5, 2013

Temple Time

 On the way from Ubud to Amed we also stopped at Pura Goa Lawah, which is one of Bali's nine directional temples forming a chain around the island (you may remember Pura Tanah Lot, which falls into this same category).  Pura Goa Lawah is on Bali's east coast, right on the water, and the temple abuts a large cave that is apparently filled with bats, although we didn't get close enough to confirm.  

Here's Martha just outside the temple:

There was a fairly large ceremony going on in the temple when we were there.  It felt a little bit strange to be there, like we were invading a private event, but noone seemed to mind and our driver assured us it was totally cool for us to be there.  

Our driver told us the ceremony was a post-cremation ceremony in which folks from neighboring villages brought offerings to this important temple on an auspicious day.  And bring offerings they did- by the truckload!:

Streams and streams of people walked into the temple, all decked out (men in white tops, white headwear, sarongs and women in lace kebaya and sarongs), with rice and flowers in their hair and on their foreheads.  Things we saw being carried as offerings included: flowers, rice, live chickens and ducks, cooked chickens and ducks, baskets full of all sorts of stuff, most of it carried by the women on their heads and piled high in certain areas within the temple compound:


There was a special procession of women carrying offerings, accompanied by music, bells, umbrellas and a guy on a loudspeaker (praying, I assume).  The video below shows them coming into the temple and departing post-ceremony:

Once all inside, they stood near the front (well, near the cave) where there seemed to be a blessing of some sort going on:

More and more people kept squeezing in:

Some sat, some stood:

The procession on the way out:

There was a man passing out blessings and what I assume is some sort of holy/blessed water, which he sprinkled from his silver bucket into upturned hands and onto heads:

A pretty cool experience!  I wish I knew a little better exactly what was going on, but it was definitely a neat thing to be a part of anyway.

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