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Balinese Galungan and Kuningan Days

in Blog
November 18, 2021
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Galungan and Kuningan are holy holidays that are commemorated by Hindus. Galungan is celebrated by Hindus to unite spiritual strength in order to get a calm mind and stance. While the Kuningan holiday is to ask for safety, protection, and inner and outer guidance to Gods and the Pitaras (Ancestors).

Galungan is taken from the Old Javanese language which means to fight, also called ‘dungulan’ which means to win. The difference is only in the mention of Wuku (traditional Indonesian Hindu weekly name) Galungan (in Java) and Wuku Dungulan (in Bali), but the meaning is the same, namely the eleventh Wuku.

The Kuningan holiday is often called Tumpek Kuningan. Kuning in the word Kuningan means yellow and the 12th wuku. Wuku is the Balinese calendar where 1 wuku is equal to 7 days and 1 wuku calendar year has 420 days.

Galungan Day has been celebrated by Hindus before it was popular in Bali. According to the lontar Purana Bali Swipa, Galungan Day was first celebrated on Purnama Kapatin 882 AD or Saka year 804.

There are several series of activities related to Galungan and Kuningan, in the following order:

Tumpek Wariga

Tumpek Wariga falls 25 days before Galungan who worships Sang Hyang Sangkara as the God of Prosperity and Plant Safety. The tradition of the community to celebrate it is to offer offerings (offerings) in the form of colored marrow (porridge).

Sugihan Jawa

Sugihan Jawa (Sugi and Jawa) means Sugi which means clean, holy and Javanese means outside. Sugihan Jawa is a day of cleansing / purification of everything that is outside of humans (Bhuana Agung or Universe). On this day Hindus carry out a ceremony called Mererebu or Mererebon.

The Ngerebon ceremony aims to neutralize everything negative in Bhuana Agung, then symbolized by the cleansing of Merajan and the House. At this Ngerebon ceremony, offerings will be given in the Sanggah Gede, Panti, Dadya, to Pura Kahyangan Tiga/Kahyangan Desa neighborhoods. Sugihan Jawa is celebrated every Thursday Wage Wuku Breech.

Sugihan Bali

Sugihan Bali is self-cleaning / Bhuana Alit (terms that used for everything inside the human itself). The procedure for its implementation is bathing, doing physical cleansing, and asking Sulinggih Tirta Gocara as a symbol of purification of body and soul to welcome Galungan day which is getting closer.

Penampahan Day

Penampahan Day falls the day before Galungan, precisely on Tuesday Wage wuku Dungulan. On that day, people will be busy with making penjor as an expression of gratitude to God Almighty for all the gifts received so far. Penjor is made of curved bamboo sticks filled with decorations in such a way.

They also slaughter pigs whose meat will be used as a complement to the ceremony. The slaughter of this pig also has a symbolic meaning, namely killing all animal desires that exist in humans.

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