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Sunday, 14 November 2010

Galungan Festival


Indonesia is the land of diverse religions and cultures. So it is very obvious that the calendar of events of Indonesia will be equally colorful and diversified. The Galungan Festival in Indonesia is one of the major festivals here. This festival is the most important festival for Balinese. The Galungan Festival symbolizes the victory of Dharma (Virtue) upon Adharma (Evil), filled with cultural rites and ceremonies.The Galungan Festival is held in Bali. Galungan Day signifies "Pawedalan Jagat" or the earth's festival ceremony. On the eve of Galungan Festival the Hindus thank God for his creations on earth and its content. On this day the Hindus express their gratitude to God and invite him to come down to earth and join in their celebrations. The Galungan Festival goes on for 10 days. At some Balinese festivals the images of the Gods as well as the thrones they sit on are carried down to the sea where they are given a ceremonial bath. The Galungan Festival has a mythological reference. There was a cruel king called Mayadenawa. The death of the King Mayadenawa is the victory of the good (Dharma) upon evil (Adharma). This victory day is celebrated every six months (6x35 days=210 days), which is called Galungan Day. It is called Galungan, probably because it is celebrated on wuku Galungan (based on the Balinese calendar), and so does Kuningan Day that falls on wuku Kuningan. Galungan Day is celebrated every Budha Kliwon Dungulan. One of the essential commodities for Galungan Festival is Penjor. Penjor is made of 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. Penjor is usually built on Penampahan Galungan (a day before the Galungan Day). It is symbolizes Mount Agung and 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. There are different stages in Galungan Festival and each element has its own symbolization.
The Galungan Festival is a religious festival here. Though it is a festival of the Hindus, the participation of people from various castes is really noticeable. Do, come in this festival. You will certainly enjoy it.

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