Galungan Festival in Bali Hindu Culture

Galungan Festival is an important annual ceremony in the Hindu culture in the Bali Island of Indonesia and it celebrates the victory of the good (Dharma) over bad (Adharma). In 2012, Galungan Festival begins on February 1. The ritual and festival is also dedicated to various gods in Hindu pantheon and to the dead ancestors. The 10-day festival is observed once in 210 days in Balinese calendar. It is based on the legend that gods visit people on earth during the period and ancestors visit their relatives.

Like all Hindu festivals, the important aspect of the festival is the victory of the good over evil. Here it is represented by the death of demonic ruler Mayadenawa

The 10-day festival begins on a Wednesday. A thanksgiving ritual is performed a day before on Tuesday.

Galungan represents ‘Pawedalan Jagat.’ The day before the ten-day festival begins; Balinese Hindus thank Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva for the creations on earth. They also invite the Gods in Hindu pantheon to join the celebrations. As part the rituals, the worshiping murtis and thrones are given ceremonial bath in the sea.

The ancestors are also offered food and water by relatives. It is also a period when all Balinese people make it to be present in their traditional family home.

Apart from the pujas, rituals and feasting the highlight of the festival is the penjor created in front of each home. A Penjor is made of a long bamboo pole with a curved end. The curved end forms like an arc when it is tastefully decorated with rice plants, corn, coconut, leaves, colorful clothes etc.