Canang Sari: Timeless Sacred Essence

IMG_0037Commonly used by Balinese in their rituals and ceremonies, Canang is the simplest form of Balinese offering, but it is so essential, and always appears on every religious ceremonies. It represents the expression of honor to Ida Sang Hyang Widhi, the God in Balinese-Hindu religion. The word ‘Canang Sari’ is derived from the ancient Kawi language ‘Ca’ (beautiful) and ‘Nang’ (purpose) with the word ‘Sari’, means essence.

1411444929064Canang has the philosophy of self-sacrifice in form of preparation and effort to create the offering, thanking god for the peace and happiness He provides every day. Canang also acts as a symbol for human to maintain balance, tranquility and peace with themselves as well as other related aspects surrounding them, in order to find the meaning of ultimate happiness.

shutterstock_98333225Canang is made from janur (young coconut leaves) and the leaves of trees as its base, then it is formed and put together using bamboo stems, cut out and decorated with flowers. Beside Canang Sari, Canang also comes in different types, divided by the ornaments and their usage in certain ceremonies, such as Canang Genten, Canang Burat Wangi, Lenge Wangi, Canang Meraka, etc.  Canang is also used to complement other form of offerings on big religious days such as Tilem, Purnama, and Kliwon.