Balinese Cremation Ceremony

There are many, many spiritual ceremonies in Bali as the Balinese are dedicated and committed to maintaining their spirituality in this world.
I was invited to attended a double cremation ceremony at the beach. I wore my tradition Balinese ceremony outfit; a special sarong, a kabala (brocade blouse) and sash.
The Balinese prepared the temple with offerings and the pyre was constructed as an ornate bamboo container with piped in propane to fuel the fire (wood is scarce in Bali).
In the distance, the sounds of the Balinese gamelan were heard. The procession of Balinese into site as they walked down the street carrying the casket on a colorful altar holding it high. Once they arrive at the site, the men lower the altar, move the casket to the pyre and place the cloth-wrapped, prepared body into the fire chamber of the pyre. All the tools used to transport and prepare the body are tossed into a pile to also be burned.
The holy man offers prayers and the people gather around the body offering flowers and honoring the dead.
The fire-man starts the propane and lights the fire. As it begins to burn, swirling embers rise, a corrugated sheet of metal is placed over the top to contain ashes. The fire-man pokes holes in the sides of the structure with rebar to bring more air in and he “chuk-chuks” the body with a long pole to crush the charred bones. At the end, the ashes are gathered into a box and the men take them out to sea in a tradition Balinese boat. They offer the ashes and flowers to the sea. It is a moving ceremony to witness.