Galungan Festivity to Glorify God and Ancestors

  • Whatsapp
Illustration of temple worship.
Illustration of temple worship

GALUNGAN is a Hindu holy day celebrated every 210 days based on the pawukon calendar. Precisely, it falls on Buda Kliwon Dungulan. The closest celebration this year is on November 10.

Known as the rerainan jagat or universal celebration, the Galungan is filled with joint worship to the temple of families, clans, village and public temples. All devotees will pay homage to those temples in their respective customary attires.

Some traditions

Generally, related to the implementation of Galungan, Hindus perform a series of main preliminary ceremonies for purification, namely Sugi Jawa (6 days in advance) for the universe or macrocosm and Sugi Bali (5 days in advance) for the self or microcosm.

Penampahan Galungan—Hindus prepare all ceremonial needs such as offerings, meat for ceremonial ingredients and consumption. Especially for the preparation of meat, they commonly slaughter pigs in groups in order to get a cheaper price. In addition to maintaining intimacy and cooperation. Meanwhile, the others buy meat in retail as needed.

Then, the meat is processed into several menus to fill the offerings and consumption. Typical the meat dishes at this celebration include lawar, tum, komoh (clear soup), twisted satay and urutan (sausage).

After cooking and preparing special menus for the ceremony, they also exchange the dish or ngejot to their neighbors, both Hindu. It is intended to exchange dishes so that they can mutually taste what they have cooked.

Next is the installation of penjor in front of the house compound or next to the entrance gate of the house. This penjor symbolizes Basuki dragon which philosophically means prosperity or well-being. This penjor contains some tubers, fruits, snacks, grains of rice, coconut and decorations of young coconut or palm leaves. This symbolizes the expression of gratitude to God for the gift of food. O well, penjor is also equipped with a bamboo platform or sanggah cucuk where offerings are put.

The next measure is to install ider-ider cloth and young coconut leaf festoons on the shrines at the family temple and the bamboo shrine, to install paragons and lelontek at the family temple. In addition to holy places, young coconut leaf festoons are also installed on working tools such as computers, tractors, motorcycles, cars and others which will later be presented offerings on Galungan Day. This is an expression of gratitude to God for His grace and asking for safety when using these tools.

Meaning of Galungan

Galungan is not only a special moment to get closer to the Creator and ancestors, but also maintain social relationship with all relatives and villagers. This is a reunion celebrated once every 210 days. People who are busy with their daily activities and those living in diaspora can also meet to establish social communication and share stories.


Well, it is not surprising if you happen to pass by on the road on the Island of the Gods or Bali, you will find front side of many motorcycles and cars being suspended with young coconut leaf festoons as a series of ritual offerings of Galungan.

In addition, the front of all Hindu houses will be fitted with a penjor which will look beautiful and become an amazing photo object. It’s a good idea to take the time to visit the villages to see up close this Galungan celebration. A unique sight that is famous and attracts tourists is Penglipuran Village in Bangli. With a neat layout, a row of penjors will look very artistic.


Related posts