A Week Of Ceremonies - Galungan & Kuningan

March 24, 2017

If March was all about the Nyepi celebrations when the whole island shuts down for a day, April sees quite the opposite with plenty of gaiety and excitement for the Galungan and Kuningan festivals. After Nyepi, these are the two biggest celebrations for the Balinese with preparations and ceremonies taking place weeks in advance.

If you are in Bali during this time, then you’re in for a treat as you will get to witness some of the most captivating Balinese cultural processions and ceremonies. It’s also fascinating to know that the Galungan marks the victory of good versus evil, and also the time when the ancestral spirits come down to visit Earth. Celebrations continue for a 10-day period until Kuningan day, which marks the day the ancestral spirits return to heaven.

Penampahan Galungan
4 April 2017

Penampahan means “slaughter” in Balinese and it is the final day of preparations before the actual Galungan day (see below). Preparations usually begin 25 days before the big day and on this last day, adults are kept extremely busy with the making of “penjor”, “banten”, offerings and the slaughter of pigs and chickens, which are later used in traditional Balinese dishes such as lawar, babi guling and satay. Children usually look forward to this day, as the atmosphere in every home is similar to that of a big family party.

Hari Raya Galungan
5 April 2017

The climax of the Galungan holiday celebrations, the second most important Balinese holiday after “Nyepi” will see most Balinese returning to their ancestral homes to make offerings to God and their ancestors who came back to rest at this time in the family temple. Prayers and giving of offerings continue at the village temple as well as homes of neighbouring families who are closely affiliated to the family.

Umanis Galungan
6 April 2017

The day after Galungan is seen as a holiday and is spend visiting friends, family and even a fun outing like an excursion to the mountains for a picnic. Everyone is still wearing their 'Sunday bests' as they take to the streets to enjoy the festive spirit that Galungan brings to Bali.

Kuningan Day
15 April 2017

Kuningan is derived from the word “kuning”, meaning yellow. The Balinese believe that on this day, their ancestors return to heaven after visiting earth for theGalungan celebrations. As a symbol of gratitude, they make offerings of yellow rice placed in bowls made of coconut leaves. The bowls are decorated with figures of shadow puppets, which represent angels that bring joy and wealth to earth. In some villages, Barongs can be seen going from house-to-house followed by children playing traditional Balinese musical instruments.


Let's celebrate the victory of good over evil in Bali. Feel the festive spirit of the ceremonies by enjoying every ceremonies of Galungan & Kuningan.