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Celebrations of Galungan & Kuningan Day in Bali

The biggest Hindu’s festival called Galungan and Kuningan, both falling every six months or twice a year in Balinese calendar or every 210 days because in Balinese calendar are consist of 35 days in each month. Peoples in Bali who are dominated by Hindu religion and some of them who live in other islands celebrate the holiday. Both celebrations are for celebrating the winning of good (Dharma) over the bad (Adharma). Usually, people will go for their hometown to celebrate these days together with family. They will pray to Ancestors at the family’s Temple and some Temples in the village which are related to their family root.

There are various things to prepare before the due date. Offerings in different sizes will be made which are consisted of different kinds of fruits, rice cakes, and banana leaves creations into delicate forms with flowers on top of it. These offerings are dedicated to the Almighty God that they worship which is Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa. Then, they will set up a bamboo pole in front of their gate which is reflecting the greatest mount in Bali called Mount Agung. This pole is decorated with flowers, plants and harvest at the bottom. These decorations are the symbol of God’s gift to human being for living. After that, the family member will put on cloth of yellow and white fabric around the individual shrines in the temple.

This pre Galungan day is full of preparation on the way to the celebration. During the day, people will also slaughter animal which is pig. Many questions might be arisen on this matter, why it should be pig not other animals. The reason is because Galungan is the glory day of the Good (Dharma) upon the bad (Adharma). Pig is considered as a dirty animal which full of negativity in which bad sides accumulate in it such as laziness; So by slaughtering this animal as the symbolic act to remove negative sides. This pig then is roasted and Lawar (young jack fruit mixed up with shredded coconut and spices) is food that must be made.

The due date which is Galungan day is the peak of festivity. The citizens usually drive to their hometown for gathering with big family and celebrating Galungan together. They pray at the family temple and then continued to the other family temples in the village. During Galungan, they are not visiting the big temple in the village. It is only for the family temples. This role is perhaps different from one village to another. Some village will do different things to pray. They might go to the village temple as well. However, in some villages, visiting and pray at the village temples is only during Kuningan day.

The last day of those three is the Post Galungan Day which is Manis Kuningan. This is the time for visiting friends, relatives who live in other area of their living or hometown. The people who are visited welcome the visitors warmly and serves with tape (fermented sticky rice) and jaja uli (rice cake). These menus are the typical for Galungan and Kuningan. At this stage, the distance amongst the family members and friends can be removed. The togetherness and warmth can be maintained from time to time. Another thing which is done during this day is going out for cruising and enjoying the time together with friends and family. The same things are also done for Kuningan day. The principals, preparations, and religious activities are established for the day.