Galungan is a Balinese ceremony which celebrates the victory of dharma over adharma (the triumph of good over evil). It marks the time when the ancestral spirits of deceased relatives visit the Earth. The spirits of deceased relatives return to visit their former homes and the Balinese have a responsibility to be hospitable and welcoming to their past ancestors through prayers and offerings throughout their home. The most obvious sign of the celebrations is the penjor (bamboo poles with offerings suspended at the end which line the roads).
As a Balinese, I always celebrate Galungan once every 6 months and it’s always happened on the day of Wednesday. Actually, Balinese will be busy to prepare Galungan since two days before. On Monday, called as “Penyajaan”. They will prepare Balinese cakes such as tape, jaja uli, and also some fruits for offerings. They also decorate a penjor for one house and you’ll find many penjors hanging on the streets.
On Tuesday, will be the “Penampahaan” day. Every Balinese will be sacrificing of pork and chicken then cook it into various processed traditional dishes. They usually serve traditional dishes such as lawar, babi guling, tum, and satay. They also share the dishes with their neighbor as a form for gratitude.
The climax of Galungan day on Wednesday, they’ll pray in many temples, as a form of gratitude, health, and prosperity. Galungan also as a day for family gathering. Usually, Balinese people who wander will return home to pray and meet their family.
On Thursday, it still the series of Galungan ceremony. But it’s freer because usually all Balinese people will be traveling with their family or friends for ended the Galungan Holiday.
So, that’s all about Galungan Ceremony. Happy Galungan for you who celebrate this Victory Day! If you are visiting Bali during this incredible time (February, 19th 2020), you will be able to see a lot of beautiful ceremonies and feel the spirit of the holiday. Be sure to ask your Balinese friends about how you might be able to join in the public temples and be a part of the celebration.