The 10-day period Galungan ends with Kuningan, The day when the gods and ancestors return to the heavens. It is a day of prayer, filled with blessings and feasts.
Offerings to be given to the ancestors on their farewell day include yellowed rice (Kuningan derived from the word kuning which means yellow) placed in a small “bowl” made of coconut leaves with other typical offerings like satay, egg, cucumber and fish or shrimp. The yellow rice is the symbol of human gratitude towards God for all the life, joy, wealth, health, and prosperity given. The bowls decorated with small figures of shadow puppets that represent angels that bring joy and wealth to earth. Balinese people see these offerings as a symbol of food supply for the journey of the ancestors from earth to heaven. From a spiritual view, however, they represent the essential provisions that every human should carry-knowledge and homage.
On Kuningan day, God blesses and gives prosperity to the whole world. In some villages, barongs or ngelawang – a lion-like creatures – go from house to house followed by kids playing traditional Balinese music instruments. You can see them in Badung, or Ubud. If such a creature arrives in front of your house, you should give an offering – money, and the barong will dance and bless your home and your family.
The next Kuningan ceremony takes place on Saturday 29 February 2020. If you’re in Bali around this date, you will be sure to see many local Balinese Hindus going to the temple to mark the end of Galungan.