The Galungan Ceremony, Padang Padang Beach, Bali

The Galungan Ceremony, Padang Padang Beach, Bali

The Galungan Ceremony, Padang Padang Beach, Bali

One of the aspects of Balinese culture that stuck me while I was on the island was how effortlessly the Balinese maintain their strong cultural identity, in spite of the massive influx of western tourism. This photo captures that sense of identity. Padang Padang Beach is popular with surfers and sunbathers and is a great beach to visit if you're staying on the Bukit Peninsula. In the midst of the baggy and bikini wearing crowds, this priest was practicing a ceremony for Galungan on Kuningan, one of the most important days in the Balinese calendar.

From Wikipedia:

Galungan is a Balinese holiday that occurs every 210 days and lasts for 10 days. Kuningan is the last day of the holiday. Galungan means "When the Dharma is winning." During this holiday the Balinese gods visit the Earth and leave on Kuningan.
Occurring once in every 210 days in the pawukon (Balinese cycle of days), Galungan marks the beginning of the most important recurring religious ceremony that is celebrated by all Balinese. During the Galungan period the deified ancestors of the family descend to their former homes. They must be suitably entertained and welcomed, and prayers and offerings must be made for them. Those families who have ancestors that have not yet been cremated, but are still buried in the village cemetery, must make offerings at the graves.

A "penjor"
Although Galungan falls on a Wednesday, most Balinese will begin their Galungan 'holiday' the day before, where the family is seen to be busily preparing offerings and cooking for the next day. While the women of the household have been busy for days before creating beautifully woven 'banten' (offerings made from young coconut fronds), the men of our village usually wake up well before dawn to join with their neighbours to slaughter a pig unlucky enough to be chosen to help celebrate this occasion. Then the finely diced pork is mashed to a pulp with a grinding stone, and moulded onto sate sticks that have been already prepared by whittling small sticks of bamboo. Chickens may also be chosen from the collection of free-range chickens that roam around the house compound. Delicate combinations of various vegetables, herbs and spices are also prepared by the men to make up a selection of 'lawar' dishes. While much of this cooking is for use in the offerings to be made at the family temple, by mid-morning, once all the cooking is done, it is time for the first of a series of satisfying feasts from what has been prepared. While the women continue to be kept busy with the preparations of the many offerings to be made at the family temple on the day of Galungan, the men also have another job to do this day, once the cooking is finished. A long bamboo pole, or 'penjor', is made to decorate the entrance to the family compound. By late Tuesday afternoon all over Bali the visitor can see these decorative poles creating a very festive atmosphere in the street.
On Wednesday, the day of Galungan, one will find that most Balinese will try to return to their own ancestral home at some stage during the day, even if they work in another part of the island. This is a very special day for families, where offerings are made to God and to the family ancestors who have come back to rest at this time in their family temple. As well as the family temple, visits are made to the village temple with offerings as well, and to the homes of other families who may have helped the family in some way over the past six months.
The day after Galungan is a time for a holiday, visiting friends, maybe taking the opportunity to head for the mountains for a picnic. Everyone is still seen to be in their 'Sunday best' as they take to the streets to enjoy the festive spirit that Galungan brings to Bali.
The date for Galungan and other special Balinese days is shown on the Balinese Calendar. Galungan is also celebrated in the rest of Indonesia such as in the Balinese communities spread over Sumatra.

My blog:
Follow me on Twitter:

Taken on: 22nd May, 2010. Copyright: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License - See Many Moon Honeymoon's page of Flickr

More images

Dinner, Togean Islands, Sulawesi, Indonesia Clear waters, Togean Islands, Sulawesi, Indonesia Hotel California, Togean Islands, Sulawesi, Indonesia Bomb! Togean Islands, Sulawesi, Indonesia Evening light, Togean Islands, Sulawesi, Indonesia Derawan Island, East Kalimantan 365.151/ MINILAND: Surfer Girl Great visibility, Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia Pink beach, Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia Welcoming committee, Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia Hero, Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia Calm seas, Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia Snorkelling at Batu Bolong, Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia The road to Wae Rebo, Flores, Indoensia Coffee beans, Ende, Flores, Indonesia Lunch stop, Ruteng, Flores, Indonesia Everyone is beachfront at Seraya Island, Flores, Indonesia House reef, Seraya Island, Flores, Indonesia Exploring, Seraya Island, Flores, Indonesia The real back beach, Kanawa Island, Flores, Indonesia Views, Kanawa Island, Flores, Indonesia Island taxis, Sabolo Besar Island, Flores, Indonesia Arrival at Sabolo Besar Island, Flores, Indonesia Hanging out, Bidadari Island, Flores, Indonesia Just another strip of sand near Labuan Bajo, Flores Bajo Bay, Flores Bungalow view from Wae Cicu, near Labuan Bajo, Flores On the way to Bena village, Bajawa, Flores Views on the Ruteng to Bajawa road, Flores Pura Ulun Danu Beratan Pura Ulun Danu Beratan Pura Ulun Danu Beratan Pura Ulun Danu Beratan Pura Ulun Danu Beratan Padangbai Bay, Bali Waterfall outside Solo, Central Java, Indonesia Keraton, Solo, Central Java, Indonesia Turtles making a break for the waves, Ujung Genteng, West Java, Indonesia Cikaso Waterfall, Ujung Genteng, West Java, Indonesia Puppets, Pangandaran, West Java, Indonesia The Green Canyon, Pangandaran, West Java, Indonesia A lone surfer, Cimaja, West Java, Indonesia Gunung Cikuray shrouded in cloud, Cipanas, West Java, Indonesia Lake scenes at Candi Cangkuang, Cipanas, West Java, Indonesia Farm crops, Dieng Plateau, Central Java, Indonesia The Komplek Candi Arjuna, Dieng Plateau, Central Java, Indonesia Great views on the Dieng Plateau, Central Java, Indonesia clear waters, Karimunjawa Islands, Java, Indonesia Boat and a beach, Karimunjawa Islands, Java, Indonesia Fallen tree, Karimunjawa Islands, Java, Indonesia