Nearly everything in Bali carries a religious significance from creating stone and wood carvings, cremation ceremonies, trance dances and gamelan music, are intended to please and appease the gods. As most pleasing and appeasing rituals take place in a temple, temples are, undisputedly, the most important structure in Balinese culture, providing a pleasant resting place for the gods during their stay on the island. Every house on the island has its own shrine, a resting place for ancestral spirits. Even the paddy fields have a shrine for Dewi Sri, the Rice Goddess. Each village has three temples, the Pura Puseh, dedicated to the villagers' ancestors, the Pura Desa, used for official celebrations, and the Pura Dalem or the temple of death, specially dedicated to the deities of death and of cremation.
The Ngaben or Cremation Ceremony is a very important part of Balinese culture. The ceremony is performed to send the dead from death to the next life. When death descends on a Balinese, the village kul kul will sound, hanging in the village temple tower to announce the departure of the deceased. The body will then be placed at the Bale Delod, and the deceased treated as if sleeping. No tears are shed as the Balinese believe that the deceased will return shortly to be reincarnated into the family. The Priest will then consult the Dewasa for the day of the ngaben ceremony. On the appointed day, the body of the deceased is placed inside a coffin, which is then placed inside a wadah, or sarcophagus shaped in the form of a buffalo. It is actually a temple structure made of paper and light wood. The funeral procession then leaves for the cremation site, carrying the wadah. The most important part of the ngaben is the burning of the wadah, with fire taken from a holy source, thus sending the deceased to the afterlife,to prepare for a future reincarnation.