Galungan is the most important festival for Bali’s local Hindu people. Held every 210 days according to the Balinese calendar, Galungan is a celebration that honors the creator of the universe and the spirits of the ancestors.
During this time, the victory of good over evil is celebrated and the spirits of the ancestors are believed to visit the earth. Elaborate offerings of food and flowers are made to welcome these returning spirits.
Offerings are also brought to the local temples, and you can often see worshipers walking or driving carrying baskets on their way to give thanks and pray for protection.
A good indication that it’s Galungan time of year are the long bamboo “penjor” that can be seen lining the streets. These are usually decorated with fruit, coconut leaves and flowers, and a small alter containing woven palm-leaf offerings for the spirits is also placed at the entrance of each home especially for the holiday.
One of the best places to visit during Galungan is the village of Penglipuran in Bangli. This traditional Balinese village is located about half an hour’s drive from Gianyar, in central Bali.
Penglipuran has managed to escape much of modern influence, with the local people still living a very simple and traditional life. The village is located 700 m above sea level making it lovely and cool to visit.
Galungan festivities last for 10 days ending with Kuningan, which is the day when spirits ascend back to heaven. It’s a wonderful time to be visiting Bali and to observe one of its most famous celebrations.
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.