Photo du Jour: Balinese Canang Sari Offerings to the Gods

On the island of Bali, religion is tightly intertwined with everyday life. Temples and religious celebrations are plentiful. Locals adorn their places of work, home entrances, and street intersections with offerings called canang sari.

These banana leaf vessels are made on a daily basis and hold a large variety of items — everything from colorful flower petals and saffron-colored rice, to crackers, cigarettes, and coffee. They are set out with burning incense sticks and sprinkled with holy water several times per day.

We heard that the Balinese spend between 25-50% of their income on such offerings.

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

2 thoughts on “Photo du Jour: Balinese Canang Sari Offerings to the Gods

  1. Thanks Tricia, when I was in Bali I lived watching the shop or restaurant owners make their offerings and prayers in the morning, such a spiritual way to start the day, no wonder they are peaceful people. Enjoy Bali, I’m sure you will absolutely love it, as I do.

  2. Sarah, agreed! Shawn and I purchased a flower offering this afternoon from a street-side vendor. We couldn’t understand each other and when I asked her how much an offering basket would cost, she in turn gave each of us a Frangipani flower, expecting nothing in return. Much of the world could learn from the Balinese! Such a beautiful people inside and out!

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