Nov 27, 2006

The Biggest Holy Day Celebration

In the next two days, the Balinese Hindu will celebrate a joyous holy day called Galungan. The Holy Day of Galungan which happen every 210 days, is anticipated eagerly by all the Balinese Hindu. This is the time where people go to the temple, people who live in the city will return to their village to pray in their family temple. Children will wear their best clothes in this special Holy Day.

The Galungan Holy Day is celebrated to commemorate the victory of Dharma (good) against A-Dharma (evil). Though I myself don't fully grasp the idea of what victory are we talking about. Many Balinese I ask don't really understand what is the Dharma in this context is about. Some people will say it is connected with the story of Maya Denawa, the evil king who once ruled Bali who is defeated by Lord Indra. To remember this victory the Galungan day is celebrated.

However, despite our lack of understanding of Galungan, this is the grandest Holy Day in Bali. You can see in front of every house (in Bali Hindu House)  a bamboo pole decorated with coconut leafs. It also has many kind of fruits; banana, coconut and rambutan, and many kind of flowers and croton. The bambo, called Penjor, is a represantation of Naga Basuki, a mythological serpent. The Naga Basuki itself is also a representation of prosperity. If you've been to Bali, you probably have seen many serpent statues at houses or temple gates.

You'll also see people walking with offerings to go to the nearby temple. Most of the Balinese will go to the temple on the Galungan day. All member of the family, young and old, children take part in the celebration of Galungan day. A day after Galungan, people visit their relatives or family to do a simakrama  or just saying hello and asking and giving forgiveness to each other.

So, the Galungan Day is the day for Balinese Hindu to pray to the Almighty God, to say thanks for the prosperity we have.

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