Parade of Sanggah Penjors

Recently, my blogging friends Terri and James over at Gallivance impressed me with their glowing tribute to the Balinese flower-mandala.

So much so that I felt inspired to gather up a little collection of my own – an array of shrines, called sanggah penjor, that Balinese families erect and decorate for the bi-annual festival of Galungan. They are gloriously decorated, imbued with items that are meant to express their unwavering gratitude to the gods – and hope for a better, healthier and more prosperous future.

Each sanggah is affixed (at about shoulder height) to, or next to, the penjor in front of their home. Then, each is filled with an assortment of offerings, ranging from fruit and cookies, from flowers and rice cakes, to muffins and cigarette packs.

Why the Balinese believe that their deities need a pack of Marlboros or oranges imported from California is anybody’s guess!











  1. Thanks for the link to our post Amit. We saw a few of the sanggah, but didn’t know what they were called. That’s pretty funny about the cigarette offering. In Bangkok you may have seen “Spirit Houses” that hope to achieve the same purpose. We got a kick out of all the offerings we saw there. From food, snacks, soda to booze – it was all there: whatever it takes to make the gods happy. ~James

    1. Yes, I love those spirit houses too! And the subtle, nearly-invisible ways that even Thais who are in a mad rush will stop for a nano-second, to offer a gesture of bowed head and touching palms in the direction of those shrines πŸ˜‰

  2. I’m wondering what I could leave. A half eaten packet of digestives (but the digestives are whole πŸ™‚ ) and a Kitkat come to mind πŸ™‚

  3. Amit, we seem to have lost touch with each others blogs.. so it was nice to come back to yours via Gallivance,net and read you once again.

    Any photo essay from Bali is a shot of positive Balinese energy. Thanks for taking us back and transporting us into that world we so savour when we are there. Your photographs are simply lovely.


  4. Love your post, and I’m grateful to James and Terri for introducing us to so many good bloggers. We saw several little shrines like the ones you showed, and we, too, were amazed at what the offerings were. Most surprising? Cans of soft drinks!!! Thanks for sharing your post with us.

  5. Hello there Sam and Rusha! Lovely hearing from you. Guess what? I’ve just visited your blog and posted too. Amazing indeed, that you saw those offerings.. and others with cans and maybe a few cigarettes too?! How did you like visiting Bali? And when were you here?

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