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Inside a Full Moon Ceremony Held In Bali's Volcanic 'Danger Zone'

Climbing closer to the heavens on the Island of the Gods.

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Oct 6 2017, 11:00am

All photos by the author

It was a day of living dangerously inside Bali's "red zone." Hundreds of Balinese Hindus made the trek up the slopes of Mount Agung—an active volcano that's predicted to blow—to attend an auspicious ceremony at the iconic Pura Besakih temple deep in the danger zone.

The ceremony was to mark Purnama Kapat—or the fourth full moon of the Balinese calendar. It's an important day across the island, but it's especially special at Pura Besakih, one of the holiest sites in Bali according to the local version of the Hindu faith.

The island's own governor I Made Mangku Pastika was in attendance, likely in a bid to show that Bali was still safe. He recently asked foreign governments to lift their travel bans to the island, which relies heavily on tourism to survive.

"With humility we pray to God that this disaster will not hurt us all," the governor said as the ceremony drew to a close and worshippers prepared to make the trip back down the volcano and into the safe zone.

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