Galungan and Kuningan

September 14, 2016

With all the restaurant, bars and shops, it’s easy to forget that Sanur is actually a village…nothing like the most incredible ceremony to remind us of the environment we live in and the respect we need to pay to the beliefs of this country.

Galungan and Kuningan fall at different dates every year because the Hindu calendar is actually 210 days long. It is a very important time during the calendar with many local people leaving their ‘town’ homes and work to go back to their family villages for celebration and ceremony. Local schools are on holidays and many offices shut down for the 10 day period.

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The celebration is about Dharma winning over Adharma, good over bad, with many ceremonies happening during this time. Galungan is when they welcome the spirits to the earth, rejoice in the lives of the spirits, enjoy feasts and time away from work with family and friends. Many hope to see the spirits of recently deceased family and friends, to be able to spend more time with them, say goodbye or in some cases, ask for forgiveness from those they feel they wronged. They pray for their save journey to their resting place.

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Kuningan then sees them say goodbye to the spirits and ceremonies are carried out to assist the spirits to find their way to their new home. The stunning penjors playing a key role in this. Penjors line the street and although they look beautiful and are extremely colourful, their role is one far more important than just decorating the home. They are curved like the mountains with colourful features and sometimes candles at the end, helping to guide the spirits over the mountains to their new homes. 007-2

Right now in Bali it’s the middle of Galungan and Kuningan, so the next time you are walking down the main street of Sanur or through our beautiful seaside village, make sure to look at the penjors and offerings, be respectful to the ceremonies going on around you, and enjoy the beautiful and peaceful  way of life that we are fortunate to be a part of.

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