Following on from our blog post series, in this month we will provide information and important events happening in and around Bali during the month of February 2020.
Galungan – 19 February 2020
A good indication that its Galungan time of year is the long bamboo that can be seen lining the streets. These are usually decorated with fruit, coconut leaves, and flowers, and a small altar containing woven palm-leaf offerings for the spirits is also placed at the entrance of each home especially for the holiday.
Galungan is one of the most important religious ceremonies in Bali, held every 210 days according to the Balinese calendar, it’s when the creator of the universe and the spirits of ancestors are honored. During this time, the victory of good over evil is celebrated and the spirits of the ancestor are believed to visit earth. It’s a wonderful time to be visiting the island, as streets are lined with decorative bamboo “penjor” and local Balinese Hindus can be seen walking and driving to temple wearing their ceremony best, often carrying offerings of food and flowers to the local temples, and you can often see women in the morning carrying a basket on their way to give thanks and pray for protection.
Kuningan – 29 February 2020
Ten days later, Kuningan marks the end of Galungan and the return of all the gods and ancestors to their own realm. Special offerings of yellow rice are made as a gesture of thanks and farewell to the spirits.
[image via asn.id]
It’s not unusual for roadblocks to be set up outside village temples during this period, and many restaurants and shops may even close as workers head back to their ancestral homes. An interesting tradition happens in Munggu village, Mengwi, their tradition ‘Mekotek’ or known as ‘spear fight’ sees two groups of male villagers as opponents attempting to force down the opposition cone of sticks which usually results in people being crushed below the collapsed cone of sticks. This ritual started in 1934, and long time ago, and during Dutch rule in Indonesia, this ritual was banned, but the local resurrected this important cultural event and it remains the real spears were used at the time unlike the blunt-ended wooden sticks that are used at present.
it’s a great opportunity to observe Bali’s fascinating culture first hand that shouldn’t be missed.
Temporary road closures and traffic congestion can be expected during Galungan. Please allow for delays if traveling during this period. For up to date bus service and traffic information of Kura-Kura Bus, please visit https://twitter.com/kura2businfo