Kuningan day – The end of the Galungan holiday
Kuningan day, that marks the end of the Gaungan holiday, is celebrated every 210 days, ten days after Galungan.
Galungan is a Balinese holiday that signifies the victory of Virtue (Dharma) over Evil (Adharma). This important festival occurs every 210 days and lasts for 10 days. This year, Galungan falls on Wednesday 1 November 2017 and Kuningan will falls on Saturday 11 November 2017. During this period you will see many Balinese dressed in their finest clothes bearing elaborate offerings to their temple.
The Balinese believe that Kuningan day is the day when their ancestors return to heaven after visiting the earth during Galungan celebration. They make offerings to be given to the ancestors on their farewell day. The offerings include yellowed rice (Kuningan is derived from the word kuning which means yellow) which is placed in a small “bowl” made of coconut leaves. Other common offerings a seeds, fish and fruit like papaya and cucumber. The yellow rice is the symbol of human’s gratitude towards God for all the life, joy, wealth, health and prosperity given. The bowls are decorated with a small figures of shadow puppets which represents angels that bring joy and wealth to earth.
It is also said that on Kuningan day Ida Sang Hyang Widhi (God) is blessing and giving prosperity to the whole world. Many people believe that the celebration should be done before noon, before gods and goddess’ return to the heavens to continue their asceticism.
On Kuningan day you can see tamiang and endongan decorations hanging outside homes and temples.
Tamiang means – and is formed as a round – shield and represents protection, defense, and the cycle of the globe. It functions as a reminder to humans of karma and that they should protect themselves from bad behavior.
Endongan means bag of provisions. It is made of coconut leaves and shaped like a bag or a pocket. The Balinese put different things like seeds, fruits, tuber inside the endongan.Some people see it is a symbol of food supply for the journey of the ancestors from earth to heaven. From a spiritual view, endongan represents the essential provisions that every human should carry-knowledge and homage.
In some villages, especially in Gianyar region, Barongs or ngelawangs – lion like creatures – are going from house to house followed by kids playing traditional Balinese music instruments. If a barong arrives in front of your house, you should give an offering called canang with sesari (money) on it, after receiving the offering; the barong will dance and bless your house and your family.