Offerings are laid daily in the morning and evening to appease the gods and spirits that the Balinese believe exist in every part of nature. In addition to the numerous village temples, each house has its own temple. Dance, music, painting, and carving are important arts, practiced the same way they have been for centuries. Some say the island’s culture is being watered down by tourism, but in every part of Balinese life, community—meaning temples and ceremonial duties—continue to come first before all else.

Bali is an island constantly buzzing with ceremonies and festivals. Not a day goes by when you don’t see people in their temple clothes carrying offerings somewhere. The most important festival is Galungan, held every 210 days. On this day the gods descend to check that everyone is behaving and then ascend 10 days later on Kuningan. Temples are adorned and piled high with offerings, and the streets are lined with penjor (tall bamboo poles decorated outside each house). Balinese New Year, or Nyepi, which usually falls in March, is also a very important day.