Galungan

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Typically considered to be the most important festivals in Bali the Galungan ceremonies celebrate Dharma’s victory against Adharma. The series of rituals and ceremonies occur over a period of ten days. During this time, Hindus reflect on how to live their lives based on the dharma beliefs.

Preparations actually begin 25 days before at the seventh week of the Balinese Pawukon calendar. Certain festivals will only occur if a particular event takes place. For instance, when Galungan day coincides with a full moon, then Galungan Nadi takes place. This ceremony receives a blessing from Sang Hyang Ketu and occurs around every ten years. Traditionally, this is a far more isolated and individualistic ceremony compared to the typical Galungan celebrations.

Through the ceremony, Hindus may also perform the Ngelawan ceremony. During this time, village people may travel around in a costume of Barong Kedengkling and Barong Rangda.

On the actual Galungan day, the people of Bali often make offerings, decorating both their homes and temples. Families and local villages pray and visit the temples together to celebrate a time when the spirits return to the earth. The most common decoration is Penjor. Big bamboo poles will be displayed with colourful coconut leaves, tubes and fruits.