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Rahajeng Nyangra Galungan !
It was Wednesday, 17 December. It’s always a Wednesday. It is the biggest ceremony day in Bali, every 210 days. It is the one that requires the most preparation, days of preparation. It’s a special atmosphere for those who are not Balinese 🙂
Few days before, when you walk around the streets, the first Penjor just grow up in front of the temples and houses, it’s magical! Those huge bamboo sticks, ornated, colourful, all differents, swinging in the wind…one…then two..then three…then four…Sometimes you have the feeling that they will fly away…but no! They are standing there, swinging above our heads with their little offering temples…And I heard it is even more beautiful in the villages around.
When you’re asking Balinese, what is Galungan, some of them don’t really know how to explain, but you can feel it is very important 🙂
What I understood, is that they are celebrating Victory from Good over Bad, Dharma over Adharma. They invite Gods and ancestors to come back on earth to celebrate with them this victory J And the Penjors, standing towards the sky, are here to help them to find the way to come down on earth…I like the idea 😀
Each Penjor has a small altar (Sanggah Penjor) which represents Besakih Temple and inside which thay put offering for Mont Agung.
There is a ritual several days before but I will only tell about the day before and the day after, Penampahan Galungan and Manis Galungan.
Penampahan Galungan: day before Galungan, in the vilages, men kill the pig (and also chicken and ducks). They cut it, chop the meat, and prepare sate and lawar, traditional Balinese preparation (skin of the pork well chopped, mixed with minced meat and spices of course 🙂 ). Men also make the Penjors and install them in front of the houses.
Women prepare other offering days before (biscuits, candies and sticky rice).
Galungan: On Galungan day, they start very early morning, around 4 or 5ock. They bring lots of offering trays in many temples. Then, back home, they also leave offering everywhere in the house in the family altars where the women bless them with holy water.
The offering are made of rice, sate, fruits…They also leave offering on all the important things they use in everyday life like on cars, motorbikes, television, computers…
Then, family is meeting in family temple to pray all together, and in all others family temples, and main temples.
Manis Galungan: The day after Galungan is called Manis Galungan. This day is devoted to visit family members, meet each others, eat together, chating, walk around.
I understood that these three days were really busy and intense days for Balinese people , full of colours, emotions and prayers…
I would like to thanks deeply, Eka, my wonderful Galungan reporter, who took time to take pictures for me during this very special day and who allowed me to publish them for you! Suksma sweet Eka 😉 and I would like also to thank all the people I bothered with my questions concerning this big ceremony, Galungan and who took time to answer me and explain me 🙂
Of course it is only a quick overview of what is Galungan, but it gives you an idea…Now waiting for Kuningan 😉
Sources: « Ma vie balinaise » – « Sur le chemin des offrandes à Bali »