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Directory Home> Bali Art and Culture> Galungan
 
GALUNGAN DAY - BALINESE CEREMONY
 
The ancestors do not come before being properly "invited". They are expected to come on the Sugihan Jawa day when one makes offerings for the welfare of the world. The call is made in familiar language: "Mai jani mulih. Uba yang ngaenang banten. Mai delokin damuh-damuhe," which means: "Please, come back home for a visit, we have prepared you food, please come and visit your descendants." This is all the more important for "dead" souls which have not yet undergone the whole cleansing process. If the dead is still buried in the cemetery, the soul is thought to be still hanging around nearby, provisionally entrusted to the god, the deity Prajapati. Thus it has to be handled with special care, and given the right punjung offering, lest it wreaks havoc among the living. But if the soul has been cremated and enshrined in the family temple, the danger is lessened and the chances are that its influence will be beneficent. The language will change, though, to become more formal and religious, and the offering will be different, too: this time it will be a saji.

The visit of the ancestors is expected to last until Kuningan. They will have feasted long enough and it will be time for them to go back to their realm of death. Another injunction will do: "Mangkin mantuk ke kedituan," which means "Go back over there to your home of the dead". The shrines are then undressed and the temples return to quietness, waiting for another festival.

So, if you happen to be in Bali for one of these two festivals, either Nyepi or Galungan, don't miss a visit to the villages.
 
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