Galungan and Kuningan day in Nusa Lembongan are two of the most important days on their calendar. Galungan is the day when all Balinese Hindu people celebrate Darma (good spirit) win over Adharma (bad spirit). Galungan is always celebrated on a Wednesday and ten days later, Kuningan is on a Saturday every 6 months (210 days) in the Balinese calendar. This year Galungan is on January 4th, 2023.
The spirits of deceased relatives who have died and been cremated return to visit their former homes, the living family members have a responsibility to be hospitable through prayer and making offerings.
Read on to gain an understanding of what takes place on and in the lead up to Galungan and Kuningan Day on Nusa Lembongan.
It is celebrated with colour, as magnificent penjors ( large bamboo poles with offerings suspended at the ends) are installed along the roadside of businesses and homes.
6 days before Galungan, is called ‘’Sugihan Jawa’’, in Lembongan people will clean all the temples, surrounding areas and also the things that they will use for the ceremony on Galungan day
5 days before Galungan, is called ‘’Sugihan Bali’’ on this day people will start to make offerinsg from coconut leaves. Women in the family will start making a variety of offerings totally over 500+ by Gulangan day.
3 days before Galungan , is called ‘’Penyekeban’, people will go to their garden to harvest fruit and do fermentation of banana so they can use it in offerings and ceremonies for Galungan.
2 days before Galungan, is called ‘’Penyajaan’’ on this day Lembongan people will make Balinese cake and crackers to use in offerings for Galungan ceremonies.
1 day before Galungan, is called ‘’Penampahan’, men from the families will put up Penjors they have made from bamboo, coconut leaf, rice, garden produce, some will include seaweed, fruit, Balinese crackers & cake, plus one piece of yellow and white cloth with the gods symbol on it. Families decorate their temples, house and prepare food such as satay and a special Balinese soup called “ares” made from chicken/pork and banana tree trunk ready for the day ahead of celebrations.
On Galungan day, people will start the day early with ceremonies from 5am at their house, they will then move onto their family temple and continue visiting other temples in their village. Normally the ceremonies will finish around 1pm. They then return to their homes to enjoy a feast of food with their family and friends.
The day after Galungan, is called ‘’Umanis Galungan’’ this is time for the Lembongan people to take a break and relax with their families after long days preparing Galungan ceremonies.
Kuningan day, is celebrated 10 days after Galungan by the Lembongan people with smaller offerings than on Galungan.
5 days before Kuningan is the day Lembongan people will start to make offerings from coconut leaves.
3 days before Kuningan is called ‘’Penyekeban’’ people will go to their garden to harvest fruits and do fermentation from banana so they can use it in offerings and ceremonies for Kuningan.
2 days before Kuningan, is called ‘’Penyajaan’’ on this day Lembongan people will make Balinese cake and crackers to use in offerings for Kuningan ceremonies.
1 day before Kuningan is called ‘’Penampahan’’, people will decorate their temple with new offerings for Kuningan also making satay as they did at Galungan, plus preparing the special dish called Nasi Kuning (yellow rice) which is symbolic of Kuningan Day.
On Kuningan day Lembongan people will start earlier than Galungan, at 4am in the morning offerings and ceremonies will begin. This is because on Kuningan day the Gods only come to the temple for half day so they need to start early. On Kuningan day families only visit a few temples for the ceremony not all temples like on Galungan. In the afternoon Lembongan people will gather at the main temple for a Barong dance.
Same with Umanis Galungan, the day after Kuningan day everyone returns to their family house to clean and tidy up everything used for the recent ceremonies.