Galungan Day in Bali, worth the visa extension
Victory of good over evil!
Galungan day is observed by Balinese Hindus, and marks the beginning of 10 days of festivities. The day represents the victory of dharma over adharma (where good triumphs over evil) and is one of the most if not the most important ceremony in the Balinese calendar. It is a time for family members to gather, spend time, and pray together.
It is believed that the spirits of deceased & cremated relatives return to Bali on this day to visit their old homes, and it is a time for the living family members to welcome the spirits with festive ceremonies, prayers and offerings. Homes and temples are elaborately decorated with natural objects, and penjors—these HUGE bamboo poles adorned with ornaments—which are erected and is seen all over, lining the streets and swinging in the air. The only thing I have to compare to this jovial time is Christmas season… but of course, it’s totally different.
As an outside observer, I can’t help but be in awe of this religious celebration. We’ve been in Bali long enough to know this is not just an ordinary day. This morning we woke up early, excited to visit some temples, and most every Balinese we saw— young and old, were wearing the most special and colorful clothes (the women had the fanciest lace and the shiniest sashes and the men all had the traditional headwear). The streets were electric as everyone was busily moving about either on foot or on motor bikes, bringing offerings first to their home temples, lighting incense on the streets and then moving on to the main village temples. It was obvious they were cheerful today, smiling at each other—and even smiling at us. Not a single soul made us feel like we were intruders, in fact, the Balinese have a way of making of making you feel welcome. What a fantastic quality.
So very grateful to be here in Bali at this time to witness these traditions.