Galungan Celebration | Atlantis Bali Diving


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The 30th of May it is Hari Galungan, an important holiday for the Balinese.

Hari Galungan

Hari Raya Galungan is the feast on which the victory of good on evil is commemorated (Balinese Hinduism excludes an absolute victory of one of the two, the balance in the cosmos must be balanced by sacrifices). Furthermore, the Balinese believe that the gods and their ancestors (spirits of the ancesters) return to earth during Galungan and they are welcomed through prayers, offerings and festivals. The Balinese calendar follows a 210-day cycle so that Galungan is celebrated twice a year, about every six months.

Preparations for Galungan start weeks in advance: there are ‘Penjor’ placed along the road and in front gardens of houses. A Penjor is a meter-high bamboo stick, decorated with leaves and fruits and symbolises prosperity and fertility. The day before Galungan a pig is sacrificed (Potong Babi). The richer the family, the fewer people have to share the pig. Many sacrifices are also made on the day itself. Galungan is like Christmas to christian people, it is the ideal time to visit family and friends. The day after Galungan (still a public holiday) is also filled with food, visiting family, sacrificing and praying.

The tenth day after Galungan is Hari Kuningan. This day marks the end of the Galungan period and is considered the day when the spirits of the ancestors rise back to heaven. On this day, offerings are made with yellow rice (kuning = yellow, hence Kuningan).