Bali Galungan Ceremony
I have been off to Indonesia to find some new homewares for Jak Jak Home. My journey began at Bali where the handicraft market is very unique. The artisans from this island are making some incredible things and their wood work is really special. This photo shows the yellow and white theme of Purity and Wisdom that was all over the island during the festivals that I've mentioned below.
I arrived just after a festival holiday and the streets were full of decoration, it was fantastic.
The Galungan Ceremony - 10 February 2016One of Bali’s major festivals celebrates the return of Balinese gods and ancestors to Bali. For ten days, Balinese families will entertain and welcome with prayers and offerings, along with ceremonies to cleanse and balance the inner and outer energy of the island. Galungan features, among other things, barong dancing from temple to temple in the village. The festival symbolizes the victory of good over evil. The origin of Galungan is a mystery, but essentially it is believed to be the beginning of the week in which the gods and ancestors descend to earth, and good triumphs over evil.The holiday is celebrated by the fitting of 'penjor', tall bamboo poles beautifully decorated with woven coconut palm leaves, fruit, cakes and flowers, on the right side of every house entrance. People are attired in their finest clothes and jewels on this day.Intensive PreparationsThree days before Galungan – on Penyekeban - families begin their preparations for Galungan. "Penyekeban" literally means "the day to cover up ", as this is the day when green bananas are covered up in huge clay pots to speed their ripening.Two days before Galungan - Penyajahan - marks a time of introspection for Balinese, and a time to make the Balinese cakes known as jaja. These coloured cakes, made of fried rice dough, are used in offerings and are also eaten, especially on Galungan. This time of the year finds a glut of jaja in every village market.A day before Galungan - Penampahan, or slaughter day - Balinese slaughter the sacrificial animals that will go into the temple or altar offerings. Galungan is marked by the sudden surplus of traditional Balinese food, like lawar (a spicy pork and coconut sauce dish) and satay.On Galungan Day itself, Balinese devotees pray at the temples and make their offerings to the spirits. Women are seen carrying the offerings on their heads, while men bring palm fronds.The Kuningan / Kulungan Ceremony - 20 February 2016This festival is held ten days after the Galungan Festival, signifying the closing of the New Year holiday. On this day special offerings made of yellow rice and special dishes are offered; every family compound and temple looks amazing with ornaments. This is believed to be the ascendant day - when ancestral holy spirits and deities return to heaven.