Galungan is a Balinese holiday celebrating the victory of dharma over adharma. It marks the time when the ancestral spirits visit the Earth. The last day of the celebration is Kuningan, when they return. The date is calculated according to the 210-day Balinese calendar.
Galungan marks the beginning of the most important recurring religious ceremonies. The spirits of deceased relatives who have died and been cremated return to visit their former homes, and the current inhabitants have a responsibility to be hospitable through prayers and offerings. The most obvious sign of the celebrations are the penjor – bamboo poles weighed down by offerings suspended at the end. These can be seen by the side of roads. A number of days around the Kuningan day itself have special names, with particular activities being organized.
|Name of day
|3 days before
|Cooking of bananas for offerings
|2 days before
|Making of jaja (fried rice cakes)
|1 day before
|Slaughtering of pigs and turtles for feasts
|1 day after
|10 days after
|Prayers, offerings – spirits return to heaven
|11 days after
Galungan begins on the Wednesday (Buda) of Dunggulan, the 11th week of the 210-day pawukon calendar. This means that there are often two celebrations per solar year. Dates for 2012-2014 are as follows: