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Luxury Resort Reinforces its Commitment to the Traditions of the Destination

UBUD, BALI – June 10, 2017 – Nestled within the lush jungle of Ubud, a destination steeped with rich culture and tradition, Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, invites guests to discover the unique spiritual practices that lend to this region’s unparalleled beauty. Offering an immersive cultural experience, visitors have the opportunity to participate in a sacred journey to learn about Balinese history and way of life through rituals, temple ceremonies, and prayers.

Mandapa introduces guests to Bali’s surroundings and native traditions with an array of ceremonies, each of which hold immense value to specific parts of Balinese life. Influenced by local customs, guests are welcome to explore the destination’s strong sense of tradition and spiritual life with unique experiences designed to find the balance between mind and soul.

Spiritual practice is profoundly significant to the people of Bali, with temples or “Canang” tucked into almost every street corner of the island. There are a myriad number of holidays that celebrate the Hindu Balinese culture, one of the most important being Odalan, an event which occurs every sixth month on the Balinese Lunar Calendar and commemorates the anniversary of each temple’s consecration. On Odalan Day, all are welcomed to come and pray, bringing special offerings as thanks for the protection to the holy place and its surrounding community.

Guests are invited to partake in the Odalan temple ceremony at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve through prayers, offerings and ritual dances. Blending folk lore and history, the classic dance of Barong is performed, where good triumphs evil in an on stage battle laden with layers of percussive sounds and mythological creatures. In gratitude to the gods, the highly sacred mask of Barong must be blessed by a priest with the holy water taken from Mount Agung before being presented as an offering. Undoubtedly, there is a strong alignment between the modernization, tradition and spiritual life in Bali

Purnama and Tilem
The moon sits at the center of the Balinese calendar, with the start of every new cycle playing a vital role in Balinese life. A wide variety of ceremonies are held in correlation with the moon’s movements, as the Balinese people deem it the best time to purify one’s body, mind, and soul.

The Purnama Ceremony takes place during the “Purnama”, also known as full moon, where the people of Bali believe that this is when Sang Hyang Ratih, Goddess of Moon (Sang Hyang Chandra), meditate. Additionally, this ceremony provides an outlet for all bad energies to be purified. Blessings on this full moon holiday can take place on the beach, spring, or even in the river as participants pay homage to the lunar phases and the deities they represent.

The Balinese culture is religiously mindful of the moon and its power over human behavior resulting in frequent ceremonies in honor of the lunar calendar. Following Purnama is Tilem ceremony, where the Balinese people engage in fasts and practice meditation in belief that this will help facilitate the transition of bad spirit energies such as anger, envy and laziness into purer spirits such as love, serenity and happiness. On the new moon, people pray to Lord Shiva to bless their body, mind and soul. Mandapa provides, offerings of Canang, an array of incense for prayer as well as sarongs in each room to allow guests to join in the sacred festivities of these two ceremonies

Nyepi – Day of Silence
Although just recently recognized, Nyepi Day, also known as Bali’s celebration of the Saka New Year and the Bali Day of Silence, is a unique ceremony that requires the complete termination of daily activities. What is ultimately the quietest day of the year, this celebration affords the Balinese a day of mindfulness and reflection free of distractions.

On Nyepi Day, complete calm enshrouds the island, some consider it a time for total relaxation and contemplation, while for others, a chance for Mother Nature to ‘reboot’ herself after 364 days of human pestering. To help reiterate the notion of disconnect and internal focus, the Balinese Hindus follow a ritual called the Catur Brata Penyepian, which includes four specific types of fasting beginning with Amati Geni, which restricts cooking after sunrise, Amati Lelungan or “No Travel” meaning Balinese locals do not venture outside their homes, Amati Lelangun, a time of deep meditation and all day fasting and finally, Amati Karya, meaning “No Work” which allows locals a day of rest to relax their mind and body. After a period, free of disturbance from modern day interruptions, the island is covered in a blanket of darkness as no lights are turned on to fully commemorate the greatness of the new moon.

To the people of Bali, religious ceremonies and practices are one of the grounding pillars of everyday life, at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve guests have the rare opportunity to witness first hand and learn about these fascinating practices that has given Bali the nickname the “Island of Gods.”

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