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Galungan Penjors

in Blog
November 18, 2021
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Towards the Galungan holiday, Hindus in Bali decorate their respective homes with penjor. Penjor is a bamboo pole that is used as the main ornament during Galungan and Kuningan celebrations. The height of the penjor is about 7-10 meters, with the top of the pole curved downwards. The hallmark of the penjor is that it is decorated with coconut leaves, white/yellow cloth, as well as offerings of produce and pastries. Behind its beauty, penjor has a very deep meaning, especially for the Balinese people.

Penjor is a symbol of prosperity

In Bali, the penjor is considered a symbol of prosperity. Hindus in Bali believe that the penjor is a symbol of a mountain that is considered sacred, so its placement should not be arbitrary. The penjor will be installed on the day before the Galungan. The installation time is usually after 12 PM in the afternoon.

This means that during the festival of Penampahan Galungan, humans are fighting against bad thoughts, negative traits, and their own egos. Well, after successfully winning in the war, the penjor was then installed as a symbol of victory. So don’t be surprised at Galungan Day, anyone who is going to Bali will easily find penjors installed everywhere.

The Implied Meaning of the Elements of Penjor

With just a glance at the panjor, we will immediately know that the elements in it are full of meaning. Each of the elements embedded in the penjor symbolizes something sacred. Starting from bamboo poles, coconuts, yellow cloth and leaves, white cloth, nutmeg chunks and hanging nutmeg, sugar cane, rice, sanggah (temple), and ceremonies. Everything is a symbol that symbolizes the vibration of the gods in Hinduism.

Therefore, the above elements must be present in making penjor for ceremonies in Bali, because each symbolizes a sacred symbol that implements the teachings of the Vedic scriptures. However, the same provisions do not apply to penjor decorations. Penjor which is used in addition to religious ceremonies is quite attractive and beautiful.

Some other Balinese people also believe that Penjor is a representation of Anantaboga the Holy Dragon, which is a symbol of earth and prosperity. Anantaboga is also interpreted as a symbol of fertility in the form of a gift of food that will not run out. This is emphasized by placing food and bird ornaments along the bamboo section.

According to Adiparwa’s book (the first book of the Mahabharata), it is stated that birds are animals that carry agricultural products from the place of the gods to earth.

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