Ngaben, or Cremation Ceremony, is the ritual performed in Bali to send the deceased to the next life. The body of the deceased will be placed as if sleeping, and the family will continue to treat the deceased as sleeping. No tears are shed, because the deceased is only temporarily not present and will reincarnate or find his final rest in Moksha (freeing from the reincarnation and death cycle).
The proper day of the ceremony is always a matter of consulting a specialist on ceremony days. On the day of the ceremony, the body of the deceased is placed inside a coffin. This coffin is placed inside a sarcophagus resembling a buffalo (Lembu) or in a temple structure (Wadah) made of paper and wood. The buffalo or temple structure will be carried to the cremation site in a procession. The procession is not walking in a straight line. This is to confuse bad spirits and keep them away from the deceased.
The climax of Ngaben is the burning of the whole structure, together with the body of the deceased. The fire is necessary to free the spirit from the body and enable reincarnation.
Ngaben is not always immediately performed. For higher caste members it is normal to perform the ritual within 3 days. For lower caste members the deceased are buried first and later, often in a group ceremony for the whole village, cremated.
Bali is a province of Indonesia. The province covers a few small neighbouring islands as well as the isle of Bali. The main island is located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. It is one of the country's 34 provinces with the provincial capital at Denpasar towards the south of the island.
With a population recorded as 3,891,428 in the 2010 census, and currently 4.22 million, the island is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority. In the 2000 census about 92.29% of Bali's population adhered to Balinese Hinduism while most of the remainder follow Islam. It is also the largest tourist destination in the country and is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music. A tourist haven for decades, Bali has seen a further surge in tourist numbers in recent years.