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Directory Home> Bali Art and Culture> Galungan
 
GALUNGAN DAY - BALINESE CEREMONY
 
Among the many holidays in the Balinese 210 day calendar, the most prominent are undoubtedly those of Galungan and Kuningan; the former on the Wednesday of the Dungulan week and the latter on the Saturday on the Kuningan week. Due to their frequency - roughly once every seven Gregorian months - these festivals are not celebrated as national holidays, but do not try to do anything between Penampahan Galungan (the day for the slaughter of the pigs that precede Galungan) and Manis Galungan, the day following it, or on the Friday preceding Kuningan; government offices are closed. People go back to their village of origin to present offerings to their ancestors and village temples.

Unlike most Balinese festivals which celebrate the particular anniversary of a temple, and are therefore scattered across the calendar, Galungan and Kuningan are all-island holidays: everywhere, temples are all dressed up, with batik and white or yellow cloth wrapped around their individual shrines as a sign that they are "occupied," meaning the gods are visiting their descendants. The ritual performed is a reminder of the strong ancestor's cult aspect of the Hindu-Balinese religion. When it took root in Bali, Hinduism, instead of throwing away the older tradition as Christianity and Islam tended to do, integrated elements of ancestral beliefs and natural animism into its corpus, the rationale being that everything and every belief can be interpreted as "ray" or a manifestation of the "Ultimate Sun" of Surya (Siwa ).
 
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