Galungan Days is the important religious celebrations for Balinese Hindus. Galungan means “When the Dharma is winning” as it symbolizes the victory of Dharma, or virtue upon Adharma, or all that is evil. The Galungan Festival is a feast and festival which is held throughout the whole island and occurs every 210 days and lasts for 10 days in the Wuku year. During this ten day period (which is on 6-16 July on 2011) all the gods (devatas), including the supreme deity Sanghyang Widi, come down to earth for the festivities and leave on Kuningan.
The festivities are made extra special by the fitting of ‘penjor’ (brightly decorated very tall bamboo poles with woven young coconut leaves, cakes, fruits and flowers) on the right side of the entrance to every house which arch over roads looking like the top of a gothic cathedral. Balinese Hindus will come home to their own house/village (let’s we called ‘mudik’).
On Wednesday, the day of Galungan is a very special day for families where offerings are made to God and to the family ancestors, who have come back to rest at this time in their family temple and other holy places to pray, dressed in colorful Balinese costumes. As well as the family temple, visits are made to the village temple with offerings as well, and to the homes of other families who may have helped the family in some way over the past six months.
The day after Galungan is a time for a holiday, visiting friends, maybe taking the opportunity to head for the mountains for a picnic. Everyone is still seen to be in their ‘Sunday best’ as they take to the streets to enjoy the festive spirit that Galungan brings to Bali. On the Sunday (3 days before Galungan) called Penyekeban, from sekeb (to cover up), green bananas are sealed in huge clay pots upon which a small coconut husk fire burns. it is believed that Sang Kala Tiga is around us, so people should alert themselves by doing many good things and ritual to cast away the devil.
The next day (2 days before Galungan) called Penyajaan, is devoted to making offerings of the many colored cakes of fried rice dough, jaja. The men decorate the family temple with white and yellow cloths which means the symbol of purity, and black white cloths (looks like chess board colors) which means the symbol of harmony, while the women very busy make various kinds of cakes for offering. The last and most important day of the ten day festival is called Kuningan. Kuningan is a day for prayer, and a special ritual ceremony is held for the spirits of the Balinese’s ancestors.
It is a wonderful time to visit Bali and an especially beautiful sacred ceremony to photograph. Seems like tourist vacationing in Bali during the ten days starting from Wednesday, 06 July until Saturday, 16 July 2011will be able to witness first hand how the Balinese elaborately decorate their towns and villages in their own individual way.
For those who celebrate Galungan – Kuningan and special for my Geg Serma Devi and family, wish you all a great day, Love. By the way, who wants to ask me to go to Bali ? Ehehe. Just in case.