Bali Life

Galungan day, when good prevails

Celebrated as the day when dharma (the good) overcomes adharma (evil), is Galungan Day. The festivity is followed by Kuningan, and the two are the most important celebrations for Balinese Hindus.

This year, Galungan falls on May 30th, while Kuningan is ten days later on June 9th. Galungan is observed every 210 days according to Balinese calendar, which means that it is celebrated twice a year in the Gregorian year (365 days calendar).

Just like most Balinese celebrations, intricate rituals and preparations always takes place. Penyekeban is done three days before Galungan to prepare for the big day, by covering green bananas to speed up the ripening process. Penyajahan is done after, where Balinese takes the time for introspection and make a special cake called Jaja

Balinese Jaja Cake 

Image source: Kompas Travel

A day just before the main Galungan day is Penampahan, the day of offerings. On the big Galungan day itself, all the Balinese will flock to temples to make offerings to the ancestors and spirits. After Galungan and just before Kuningan is the time when friends and families gather together. To end these series of festivities is Kuningan, when it is believed that spirits return to heaven.

Prayers during Galungan Day 

Image source: The Jakarta Post

One of the things we love about Galungan is the festive Penjor, decorative bamboo poles with young coconut leaves along the streets of Bali. Penjor is created as a way to show gratitude to God. Penglipuran Village in Bangli is one traditional village that is aesthetically pleasing for the eyes during Galungan times with its decorated Penjor, and it’s only 50 minutes away from Padma Resort Ubud

Penjor decorations at Penglipuran Village

Image source: Sinar Harapan

A little tip from us if you wish to greet your Balinese friends, here’s how you can greet them in Balinese “Rahajeng Nyanggra Rahina Galungan lan 
Kuningan“. Or the shorter way in Bahasa Indonesia is “Selamat Galungan“.

May this special day bring blessings, peace and harmony to us all..

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