There are thirteen ceremonies relating to life from conception to death, but not including death, which each have four elements: clearing of evil spirits, cleansing with holy water, bubbling of essence, and prayer. These ceremonies mark major events in a person’s life, including birth, puberty, teeth filing, and marriage. A newborn baby is believed to represent the soul of an ancestor and is considered a god for the first 42 days of its life. However, the mother is considered impure and cannot participate in any religious activity during this period. A baby should not touch unclean soil until it is 105 days old, halfway through celebrating its first birthday, according to the 210-day Balinese pawukon calendar. Once the child reaches puberty, the upper six canines are filed down until they are even.
The most important ceremonies take place after death and allow the soul to be released to finally be reincarnated. Unlike the death rites of other religions, the physical body is not the center, it is seen only as a temporary container of the soul and only suitable for rapid elimination. In fact, the body must be burned before the soul can leave it completely. The cremation ceremony to achieve this can be extremely expensive, as an elaborate ceremony is a way to show respect to a soul destined to become a god with considerable powers over those left behind. Therefore, bodies are sometimes buried temporarily until the family can accumulate enough funds for a cremation, although the bodies of priests or high-class families are preserved above ground.