Honouring the Almighty God (suksemaning idep) and Creator of the entire universe (Ida Sang Hyang Widhi) for the creation of the world and everything in it and the victory of Good over Evil, Hindus on the island of Bali observe the religious days of Galungan and Kuningan. Every six Balinese months (210 days), on Buda Kliwon Dungulan (Wednesday Kliwon wuku Dungulan), Hindus in Bali celebrate the holy day of Galungan, followed ten days later by the celebration of Kuningan Day, at Saniscara Kliwon Wuku Kuningan.
Galungan in Balinese Hindu
Based on Parisadha Hindu Dharma, the Galungan ceremony means Pawedalan Jagat or Oton Gumi. Although this is interpreted as the birthday of gumi (the world), it does not mean that Gumi/Jagad was born on the Buda Keliwon Dungulan. On Galungan Day, Balinese Hindus offer praise and thanksgiving for the gift of Ida Sanghyang Widhi Wasa who has been pleased to create everything in this world.
Galungan Day is also interpreted as the victory of dharma (good) over adharma (bad). Spiritual union and a clear mind are the forms of dharma within, while, all the confusion of thoughts (byaparaning idep) is a form of adharma. On Kuningan Day, Hindus pray to the Gods and ancestors, preparing offerings filled with ajengan (yellow rice). The yellow colour in Ajengan is a symbol of prosperity. This is interpreted as a form of gratitude because he has bestowed his grace for prosperity in this world.
There are several events during Galungan, namely Tumpek Wariga, Sugihan Jawa, Sugihan Bali, Penyekeban Galungan, Penyajan Galungan, Penampahan Galungan, Hari Raya Galungan, and Umanis Galungan. As a closure to the series of Galungan rituals, Kuningan marks the return of the gods and all ancestors to their realm.
Tradition in Galungan day
During this time, a Penjor, a tall bamboo pole decorated with fruit, coconut leaves and flowers, is placed on the right side of the entrance to every Balinese house. At each gate will also be found a small bamboo altar, carrying an offering of woven palm leaves for the spirits. The Penjor is also said to be a symbol of a mountain, itself God’s stana with its various manifestations, and for that reason a temple is built on every mountain in Bali.
During Galungan, a traditional ceremony known as Ngelawang is performed in every village. Ngelawang is a ritual to expel evil and any negative spirit, performed by the Barong. Ngelawang Barong is a sacred dance, performed once every six months between Galungan and Kuningan Days. Ngelawang is generally performed by a group of children and adolescents consisting of 8 to 15 people, two of whom act as dancers dressed in complete barong outfit, and the rest acting as gamelan musicians. As this group passes along village roads, the audience watching give alms (punia) in gratitude. Even though Ngelawang is a dance full of religious values, this traditional ceremony can also be enjoyed by tourists.
Galungan Day at Melinggih Kelod
At Melinggih Kelod, the Galungan ceremony is celebrated by holding prayers at the merajan/sanggah (family temple) and the temples around the Melinggih Kelod area. From early in the morning the atmosphere of the streets and the area of Melinggih Kelod Village is enlivened by the community’s activities. (Anik)