Galungan is the most important feast for Balinese Hindus. Celebrate the victory of good over evil while honoring the creator of the universe and the spirits of ancestors.
Synchronized with the Saka and Wuku calendars, Galungan occurs once in the 210-day cycle of the Balinese calendar, and marks the time of the year when the spirits of the ancestors are believed to visit the earth. Balinese Hindus perform rituals that are meant to welcome and entertain these returning spirits.The house compounds that make up the nucleus of Balinese society come alive with devotions offered by the families living within. They offer bountiful sacrifices of food and flowers to the ancestral spirits, expressing gratitude and hopes for protection.
These sacrifices are also offered at local temples, which are packed with devotees bringing their offerings. The festivities go on for ten days ending with Kuningan, which is the day when spirits ascend back to heaven.
Balinese Hinduism is an amalgam in which gods and demigods are worshiped alongside Buddhist heroes, the spirits of ancestors, and indigenous agricultural deities. Most importantly, animism creates a sort of reverence that deserves celebration.
And the fact that good and evil are in constant combat in the Balinese mind means that daily reminders are needed for how to live a good life. This is also why you see daily offerings placed throughout a home, at the doorways of local shops, and in rice paddy fields.