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Penjor lining a road in Bali at Galungan
Also called Galungan
Observed by Balinese Hinduism
Type Hindus, cultural
Observances Prayers, Religious rituals
Date Decided by the Hindu Balinese pawukon calendar
Related to Diwali (in India), Tihar (in Nepal), Swanti (among Newar in Nepal)

Galungan is a Balinese holiday celebrating the victory of dharma over adharma.[1] It marks the time when the ancestral spirits visit the Earth. The last day of the celebration is Kuningan, when they return. The date is calculated according to the 210-day Balinese calendar. It is similar to Diwali, celebrated by Hindus in other parts of the world. [2] [3] [4]


Galungan marks the beginning of the most important recurring religious ceremonies. The spirits of deceased relatives who have died and been cremated return to visit their former homes, and the current inhabitants have a responsibility to be hospitable through prayers and offerings. The most obvious sign of the celebrations are the penjor - bamboo poles with offerings suspended at the end. These are installed by the side of roads. A number of days around the Kuningan day have special names, and are marked by the organization of particular activities.[5]

Name of day Activities
3 days before Penyekeban Cooking of bananas for offerings
2 days before Penyajaan Making of jaja (fried rice cakes)
1 day before Penampahan Slaughtering of pigs or turtles for feasts
1 day after Manis Galungan Visiting family
10 days after Kuningan Prayers, offerings - spirits return to heaven
11 days after Manis Kuningan Fun


Galungan begins on the Wednesday (Buda) of Dunggulan, the 11th week of the 210-day pawukon calendar. This means that there are often two celebrations per solar year. Dates for 2015-2017 are as follows:[6]

2015 July 15 July 25
2016 February 10 February 20
2016 September 7 September 17
2017 April 5 April 15
2017 November 1 November 11


  • Southeast Asia TravelSearch Accessed 30 July 2015
  • Eiseman, Fred B. Jr, Bali: Sekala and Niskala Volume I: Essays on Religion, Ritual and Art pp 182-185, Periplus Editions, 1989 ISBN 0-945971-03-6
  • Pancorbo, Lo balinés", en "Fiestas del Mundo. Las Máscaras de la Luna". pp. 33–41. Ediciones del Serbal, Barcelona, 1996.


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