There are two major Hindu festivals & celebration in Bali and one of them is Galungan. In its importance it can be probably compared to Christmas for most of the western countries. Gulungan is the most important ceremony in the Balinese calendar. The Galungan festival represents the victory of dharma over adharma, or simply put, the conquest of good over evil. It celebrates the two weeks every year when all the good spirits come down to Bali.
The Balinese people welcome them with prayers and offerings, and perform ceremonies for cleansing and abundance.
Religious meaning of Galungan is the celebration of the victory between good over evil, Dharma against Adharma. It’s a big family day, when extended family gather together. People who work away from their home villages always try to be back to celebrate Galungan.
Galungan is one of the most beautiful holidays in Bali. Streets get enormously rich with decorations and villagers wear beautiful ceremonial clothes as they gather on the streets. The main street decoration for Galungan are Penjors – bamboo poles weighed down by offerings suspended at the end. These can be seen by the side of roads in every Balinese village
Galungan always lasts three days.
The first day (Penampahan Galungan) is not an actual celebration, but a big preparation for the next days ceremony. There is a lot to be done, decorating temples, offerings for gods, food for ceremonies etc. Men have to make penjors and prepare babi guling for the ceremony . (Babi guling a local balinese dish – roasted suckling pig).
The second day is the main day for Galungan Day, when all ceremonies happen. Every family will have a ceremony in their family temple and in the village temple. Everyone will be busy with religious ceremonies.
The third day, is called Galungan Manis (‘sweet galungan’). This is when the family can finally celebrate and have a big day off to have fun. Families often spend their time going to the beach. Swimming in the ocean is a symbolic way to clean up from bad energy and bad spirits.