Canang – Balinese Offerings
Offerings can be seen all over in Bali. You will often see them at the entrance to shops, on shrines and of course at every Balinese ceremony. Canang are the colourful small square trays made from coconut leaves and filled with rice, fruit and colourful flowers. The flowers aren’t chosen randomly but they are usually red and white, and you’ll also see green in the form of the pandanus leaf. These are in fact the colours of the Hindu Triad ; Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. You will see them in front of every shop, home and business as well as on the dashboard of vehicles.
The offering is not made and simply put in its place. A small ritual … is carried out first. The Ngayah is made three times. This is the waving with the right hand the essence, called sari, of the offering toward God. This is usually done with some smoke, burning incense, to carry the essence of the offering upward.
You will see hundreds of canang for sale in Ubud market if you go there. The canang sellers also sell dupa which in the incense that goes with the offering.
The Arma Museum in Ubud offers classes in offering making. You will learn to make offerings, not only canang, from coloured dough, carved leaves and bamboo. You will also learn the meaning of the daily offerings and how to perform them.