Frangipani : The Flower Identity of Bali

Frangipani or Balinese called it ‘Bunga Jepun’ or javanais called it ‘bunga kamboja’.

Frangipani is from Central America. In Java, generally, frangipani is planted in graves. This makes frangipani have a scary and frightening impression. However, in Bali frangipani are a favorite flower for offerings. Nearly all Balinese make frangipani flowers their identity as Balinese Read more “Frangipani : The Flower Identity of Bali”

Melasti : Balinese Hindu Purification Ceremony

Bali is a home for ceremonies and of the most important is Melasti. This is a ceremony held a few days before Nyepi the silent day in Bali Maybe this is a kind of eye-catching ceremony because during Melasti you will see Banjar (village communities) walking along the shoreline with beautiful, bright and colorful offerings going to the beach, river or holy spring. Read more “Melasti : Balinese Hindu Purification Ceremony”

Bali’s Penjor is not just a decoration

photo by Nanas

When you visit Bali, you may see something tall from coconut leaves fluttering in the air a long the road side. you may wonder what it’s that??

What is a penjor?

Penjor is a tall  bamboo decorated with coconut leaves with  sanggah cucuk. Sanggah cucuk is a small triangle box on the base that is used to place the offerings during certain religious celebration in Bali. The Penjor has length often up to 10 m and is placed in front of the house of the Balinese, or business place, it makes a beautiful effect in Bali’s streets.

What is the significance?

Penjor usually is erected in a Bali holiest day, Galungan. It is held 2 times a year in the Balinese calendar which one year has 210 days, so Galungan does not come in the specific date in the Georgian calendar. Penjor is not just a decoration to celebrate Galungan, it has deep significance, Penjor is like an offering to thank the Gods. The Penjor curved representes a mountain, of course the highest mountain in Bali, Mount Agung which is  considered as the incarnation of God of the mountain called Hyang Giri Pati.

Balinese believe that during Galungan, the ancestral are supposed to come home, so Penjor and sanggah cucuk offers place to them, penjor also has significance to showing gratitude and hospitality from the house owner

When and where are Penjor erected?

Penjor are erected in front of Balinese Hindu home Tuesday before D-day of Galungan. Galungan is a 10 days period and ends with Kuningan (Kuningan is one of the Bali holiest day). When Kuningan comes, the ancestors return to their own realm.

Galungan : the holiest day in Bali

Galungan is the most important day for the Balinese. According to history, Galungan is about the victory of dharma over adharma. Or we can say Balinese celebrating the victory of good over the evil. This celebration is also to give honor to the creation of the universe Ida Sang Hyang Widi .

Galungan is held twice a year, and always a Wednesday. But, if you are trying search in Georgian calendar you will not found it, because Balinese celebrate Galungan according to the Balinese calendar that only has 210 days per year. At Galungan the spirit of the ancestors go down to earth and come home to visit their family.

Tuesday before the d-day of Galungan, Balinese will erect Penjor to show their gratitude and hospitality to the ancestor as the house owner. If you have ever seen the regularly penjor, in this day you will see the amazing penjor with luxury decoration.

images via pixabay

Just like most Balinese celebration, the preparation always take a place.

Penyekeban : The day to cover-up

Three days before Galungan day. Balinese will make an offering with fruits, but the most important fruit for them is banana because Balinese consider that Banana has the least ego, even though we cut it, it will grow and still gives the vulnerability of other creatures. Penyekeban has significance that human must reduce their ego so they can get closer with Ida Sang Hyang Widi.

Artem Bali via unsplash

Penyajaan : Time to make Balinese cake

Two days beforehand Galungan. Balinese will make traditional cake known as Jaja that are made from colorful fried rice that will complete the offerings. Penyajaan has the significance that humans can make something sweet that can be use in daily life.

Penampahan : The day of Sacrifice

The day before Galungan, this day Balinese will sacrifice a pig to be slaughtered. This day will be a big day for Balinese because they cook the good thing for tomorrow. Penampahan has the significance that human must kill their bad habit. In Bali, the pig is symbolized as laziness, so slaughter the pig has meant that human slaughter the laziness either. 

Galungan Day

The d-day, this day people will go to the temple and bring everything that they already made the days before. They will pray together and usually Balinese go back to their village to pray together with their family. This day women are seen carrying the offerings on their head.

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The day After Galungan

This day Balinese will visit their close friend or visit their family.

Kuningan : The end of Galungan

The tenth day after Galungan, Balinese believe that this day the spirit of the ancestral will back to heaven. So, Balinese will make yellow rice offerings.

The secret of the Balinese smile

It took me a while to finish this article that started a little before the eruption of Mount Agung, which the media keeps talking about it and creating panic while in Bali everyone is calm. The weather has slowed back to normal. I took advantage of a moment in the soft breeze of occupations and Gods to tell me that I had to finish this article, everything that I write is not for me or you who read this article, but for all those displaced from Mount Agung

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Supernatural in Bali: Black Magic and Ghost

In Bali you will see many religious ceremonies but behind this image, Bali hides a taboo subject: black magic and evil spirits. And yes, this island so attractive by its culture. There are many Balinese who still believe in it or who still know a story of someone who has been a victim of dark magic or who has seen a ghost. I know people who know people who have …

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