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Ngaben Ceremony

Ngaben in Ubud – Bali

Ngaben is the way how Balinese treat the deceased. When someone passed away, the family will need to arrange for either burial or cremation. In some Bali villages, if someone is coming from Royal Family or they have enough budgets to cover the expenses, they will opt for cremation ceremony. However, if they are coming from ordinary family and they do not have enough money to arrange the cremation, they will opt for the burial and wait for the Banjar Cremation ceremony that is held once in every five years. Therefore, it can ease their burden in budget since the Banjar Cremation is a mass ceremony when all the people of Banjar will have to arrange the cremation together for their buried family members, all of them in one Banjar.

Ngaben in Ubud, source by :

When a family decided to arrange for Ngaben ceremony, not the mass one, they will build up a high temple like structure called Wadah. This Wadah is functioning as the vehicle to carry the deceased to the cremation ground. Beforehand, the deceased will be treated as if he was still alive, the family members will do the work to bathe, comb his hair, dress him up and apply some lotion made of natural fragrance on his skin before he is wrapped up by white fabric and prepared to be placed into the coffin that is later put on the Wadah and lifted up by the family members and Banjar to the cremation ground, at the cremation ground the deceased will be moved from the Temple like Wadah to the structure resembling buffalo called Lembu before it is burnt. When the deceased is being treated at home, some of the family members and Banjar people lift the Lembu structure to the cremation ground. This Lembu is used as the vehicle for the deceased to the afterlife and this structure will later be burnt together with the deceased.

Ngaben in Ubud, source by :


Source by : Matthias Günther channel on Youtube

The climax of Ngaben itself is the burning process; fire is something pure and holy in Bali Hindu, and in Ngaben Ceremony fire is used to free the spirit from the body and enable the reincarnation. If the spirit is still trapped in the body with bones and flesh, it will never be able to reach the afterlife and it cannot reincarnate to the world. Therefore, the fire will help to burn all bones and flesh and purify the spirit before it is going to the afterlife, and sometime in the future, it will reincarnate.

See it closer in Ubud-Bali.
Red Lotus Management