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Galungan dan Kuningan

Celebrated every 210 days according to the Hindu SakaCalendar, Galungan symbolizes the victory of Dharma over Adharma orvirtue over evil which has its origin in the mythology of “Mayadenawa”. It isbelieved that during the ten days of Galungan, all the gods, as well as thesupreme deity Ida Sang Hyang Widi, will come down to earth and join thefestivities. The Balinese also believe that the spirit of ancestors anddeceased relatives return to visit their homes, and for this reason the variousrituals conducted and offerings given to welcome them.

Duringthe festival, all across island sprout tall bamboo poles called "penjor"– that are  decorated with fruit, coconut leaves, and flowers, and set upon the right side at  the entrance of every home. At each gate, one willalso find small bamboo altars set up especially for the holiday, each carrying woven palm-leaf offerings for the spirits.

DuringGalungan, a ceremony known as Ngelawang is performed in every village. Ngelawang isa ritual to expel evil and any negative spirit, which is performed by  "barong" - a divine protector in the form of amythical beast. The barong is invited into homes as he makes his way throughthe village. His presence is meant to restore the balance between good and evilin the house. The residents of the house will pray before the dancing barong, upon which he will  give a piece of his fur as keepsake.

Thelast and pinnacle event in  the ten day festival is called Kuningan. It isbelieved that on this particular day, the Supreme God Sang Hyang Widi descendsto earth to give blessing for all the people. As closure to the series ofGalungan rituals, Kuningan also marks the return of the gods and all ancestorsto their own realm.

Asone of the most important religious activities on the island, Galungan providesthe best opportunity to observe the most fascinating part of Bali’s uniqueculture. A visit to Bali during the festival will surely be an unforgettableexperience  for all the senses.