Galungan and Kuningan Day
Galungan and Kuningan Day is the Hindu red-letter day commemorative by Balinese Hindu every six-month. Hindu people especially in Bali very enthusiastic welcome their holidays because on this day they do the pray as Balinese Hindu worshiping to the infinite (Ida Sang Hyang Widi Wasa) supremacy as this world creator.
Galungan Day is celebrated every Budha Kliwon Dungulan. Galungan Day has a meaning “Pawedalan Jagat” or the earth’s celebration. On this day the Hindus thank the God for the creation of the earth and its content. On this day the Hindus feel grateful for His blessings.
Once upon a time, there was a powerful King called Mayadenawa. Mayadenawa was a descendant of daitya (powerful giant), the son of Dewi Danu. Because of his power he can transformed himself into many kinds of creatures and forms. This King ruled the area of Makasar, Sumbawa, Bugis, Lombok, and Blambangan.
Because of his great power, Mayadenawa became snobbish and cruel. In this period a priest with divine power, called Mpu Kulputih. Mayadenawa did not allow the Balinese to worship the God, and he destroyed all the temples. Because of this the people of Bali became desperate, the plants were destroyed, plaque was everywhere. The people did not dare to fight back or argue the order of Mayadenawa because of his magical power.
Galungan is the day to celebrates triumph, the most important event for the Balinese. For Galungan, every house compound and entrance gate is decorated with umbul-umbul, a long colorful flag on an overhanging bamboo pole, and Penjor, long overhanging bamboo poles decorated with elaborate carved creations — each different according to the region of the island. During the celebration, school and business activity will stop and all concentration will focus on activities associated with this special celebration.
During the Galungan, the Balinese believe that their ancestors descend to their former homes. The ancestors must be entertained and welcomed with prayer and offerings. They must also give offering at the grave for those who have ancestors that have not yet been cremated.
The Kuningan day celebration is usually held 10 days after Galungan. It is technically the last day of the Galungan celebration. All the decorations that had been used for Galungan will be removed after Kuningan day ends. The Kuningan day is the time for commemoration as the ancestors return to the heavens and at least until Galungan comes around again, 210 days later.
Penjor is the symbol of Mount Agung and also the symbol of the presence of the God. It is made from a long bamboo pole with its curved end, and decorated with rice paddies, corn on the cob, coconut, cakes, a piece of white or yellow cloth, etc. This as a sign for reminding the human that everything we enjoy in this world is from the God.
Penjor is usually made on Penampahan Galungan (a day before the Galungan Day). It is the symbol of Mount Agung, and also as gratitude for the agricultural produce. Mount Agung is the symbol of holiness as a connection to Mount Semeru, Mount Himalaya, or Mahameru, which is believed as the place where Bhatara Putra Jaya stays.