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Balinese Cremation


The Body is Placed in the Tower Funeral Tower Decoration

The cremation ceremony in Bali is called ngaben and is the last ritual for almost every Balinese. Based on Hindu believes burning of body allows the soul to break free entirely from the body to ascend to heaven and to be reincarnated. There are many long preparations and ceremonies of this ritual. In contrast to Hindu in India, the Balinese are often buried shortly after death. The time between funeral and ngaben is the preparation time. After their completion, the deceased is removed from a temporary grave. Finally the body is burned with the entire sarcophagus. 12 days after the cremation ashes are released to the river or most often the sea. In past centuries the widow of the deceased was also cremated with her husband. It was her duty to help him in finding the right way to heaven.

I was lucky to witness at least part of royal cremation ceremony called palabon (another word for ngaben, but for the higher caste only). On July 2nd, 2010 the soul of the queen of Mengwi was released by the fire.


Funeral Tower Balinese Musician Playing Metallophone The Base of Funeral Tower