Galungan dan Kuningan, Bali’s celebration of their ancestors

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Today, the 1st of November 2017 is the first day of Galungan in Bali. A tradition when the Balinese start a 10-day process of giving gratitude to their ancestors which consists


Galungan is the day that the ancestors come to visit and they are welcomed with elaborate offerings and prayers. The ancestors stay for 10 days and then the Balinese celebrate Kuningan. Kuningan is the day to say farewell the ancestors with prayers and the process will repeat again in 210 days time. This is a continual ritual. “Galungan dan Kuningan” represents the victory of Dharma (good) over Adharma (evil).

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The streets are lined with graceful handcrafted Penjors which sway in the breeze and all the statues and small shrines are draped in yellow and white. Canang, small baskets made from coconut leaves and adorned with flowers, gifts for the gods and smouldering incense sticks are placed either in the shrines or in front of them.

We were honoured to be invited to pray at two temples – one Hindu and one Buddhist – with our friends Kecong and Wayan. I wore traditional clothing, sarong, sash and white top and with my hair up and flowers from the praying tucked in my hair, I felt as if I fitted in!

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Larch at the Galungan ceremony
Larch at the Galungan ceremony
Candi Buddha Kalibukbuk
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