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Ongkara Galungan Holiday

Religious ceremonies, temple festivals and celebrations are the most important part of everyday Balinese life. And there are many festivals.

Besides our western calendar, the Balinese use two others; the saka and the wuku calendars. The wuku calendar defines all the festivals and religious ceremonies. This short calendar has only 210 days but has many more ceremonies than our international calendar.

Galungan holiday is the biggest ceremony of the Balinese calendar year and honours the creator Sang Hyang Widhi. During this time, Sang Hyang Widhi resides on earth together with other Gods and ancestral spirits.

Blossoms and Fruits Offerings
Blossoms and fruits offerings
Festive decorated road to Villa Orchid Bali
Festive decorated road to Villa Orchid Bali

In their honour houses, roads and paths are decorated and temples and shrines are filled with offerings. Several days before this special day, a Penjor is arranged and composed with lots of love and skill and set up in front of the entrance to each family compound.

Other skilfully made ornaments and decorations, little handmade baskets, small bowls and trays, are woven out of young coconut leaves and strategically placed on altars and sanctuaries for the enjoyment of these Gods and ancestral spirits.

Ibu Tantra ..... displaying her Galungan offerings
Ibu Tantra ..... .....displaying her Galungan offerings

The Penjor is made from a strong bamboo pole decorated with young coconut palm leaves and rice stalks.

The Sangah a small altar to put offerings on, is made from bamboo and woven palm leaves. In every rice field you will find these small holy places used to put offerings like flowers, cooked rice and fruits.

Penjor with Sanggah at the entrance door of Villa Orchid Bali Sanggah with offerings
Penjor with Sanggah at the entrance door
of Villa Orchid Bali
Sanggah with offerings

Kuningan, the celebration of the Gods and ancestral spirits departure from earth, falls 1o days after Galungan. With rich offerings and a lot of flowers, the Gods and the ancestors are well prepared for their long journey back to Nirvana.

In special places around the family houses and compound, small offerings are placed to appease the earth ghosts. This is done to put the ghosts in a favourable mood and to avert any danger that may come to family members.

These small offerings are always placed near dangerous places such as a pool, car or motorbike (remembering the way people drive here in Bali).

Blossoms offering besides a pathBlossoms from praying and offerings
Blossoms offering besides the schimming-poolBlossoms offering on the car
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BALI - THE ISLAND:     Balinese Landscape     Temples of von Bali
Island of the Gods     Surrounded by Demons     Galungan Holiday
Exotic Flora     Tropical Flowers     Fruits of Bali
Balinese Recipes

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