What is Canang Sari?

Canang Sari is a daily Balinese Hindu offering, typically made from a small tray woven from coconut palm leaves. It is filled with various symbolic items, including flowers, grains of rice, betel leaves, and sometimes other small offerings. Canang Sari is used in daily rituals to show gratitude and seek blessings from deities and ancestors.

Also known as: Banten, Sesajen

How is Canang Sari prepared and when is it offered?

Canang Sari is crafted by hand and is prepared every morning, typically before sunrise, to ensure its freshness. Balinese women and sometimes men create these offerings, placing them in various locations, including homes, temples, shrines, and streets.

What is the purpose of offering Canang Sari in Balinese rituals?

Canang Sari serves as a form of daily devotion and gratitude to the deities, spirits, and ancestors. It is a way to seek blessings, and protection, and maintain harmony in Balinese life. The practice represents the Balinese belief in maintaining a balance between the forces of good and evil.

Can you get bad luck or be possessed when kicking Canang Sari?

While kicking or accidentally disrupting a Canang Sari is not associated with bad luck or possession, it is considered disrespectful and impolite in Balinese culture. To avoid cultural insensitivity, it’s best to treat these offerings with respect and not disturb them. Balinese people appreciate visitors who show respect for their customs and traditions.

Interesting facts about Canang Sari:
  1. Symbolic Color Placement: The specific arrangement of colors in Canang Sari is not random. Each color has a symbolic meaning in Balinese Hinduism. White represents Iswara (the Almighty), yellow symbolizes Brahma (the Creator), red is for Wisnu (the Preserver), and black represents Siwa (the Destroyer). This arrangement reflects the concept of maintaining balance and harmony in life.
  2. Daily Creation: Canang Sari is made fresh every morning. Balinese women and sometimes men take the time to meticulously craft these offerings, ensuring that they are beautifully arranged and filled with fresh flowers and other items. It’s a daily ritual of devotion and gratitude.
  3. Ubiquitous Presence: When you visit Bali, you’ll find Canang Sari everywhere—on the streets, at temples, in homes, at shop entrances, and in various public spaces. The offerings play a central role in Balinese culture and are considered a vital part of daily life, reflecting the island’s strong spiritual beliefs.