On the occasion of an Odalan, or temple anniversary,
Balinese arrive at an open bale in front of the
temple shrine balancing huge banten offerings atop their heads.
Banten are beautiful towers--which can weigh
up to 50 pounds--skillfully erected by layering basic foods in
patterns that are aesthetically pleasing; flowers and decorations
carved out of palm leaf make a glorious crown. The Balinese believe
that gods consume the essence, or sari, of these
offerings. After a priest blesses the banten and prayers are made
to complete the ritual, the women return home with their edible
sculptures to select items to feed their family.
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