Jun 23, 2007

Galungan: The Biggest Religious Celebration In Bali

If you come to Bali this week, you will notice that there are ornamented bamboo poles erected in front of every Hindu Bali house in Bali. These bamboo poles are called Penjor and also a sign of the upcoming Galungan and Kuningan Day.


The celebration of Galungan day is to commemorate the victory of Dharma (good) versus Adharma (evil). You can say the victory meant here is a spiritual achievement when one can put aside all the bad things or negative thinking, actions, and speaking, but only to focus on good things. If you ask a Balinese what it is meant by Galungan day, s/he probably will reply that it is simply victory of Dharma against Adharma or good versus evil. That’s it. Who is the Dharma, and who is Adharma, are not so plain.


But, anyway, Kuningan Day another celebration which takes place ten days after Galungan day. On this day, as also the Galungan day, the local Balinese will pray in their family temple thanking the almighty God and their ancestors for the victory of Dharma, and also for the prosperity that they have been blessed with. They will also visit nearby temples to pray. If you are in Bali this week, you will be able to see Balinese ladies marching on the villages streets with offerings on the top of their heads. While their husbands and children walk beside her.


The Penjor, or the bamboo pole erected in front of every house, does also mean prosperity. It is not merely a bamboo pole, but it has been ornamented with flowers, coconut leaves, offerings, fruits, and spices.


So, if you come to Bali this week, you should not miss this celebration. Drive or walk along the village streets and look the Galungan scene with people going to the temple in their best traditional dress, and colorful offerings, as well as beautiful Penjors along the streets.

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