The Balinese celebration of Galungan and Kuningan @ Angel House Ubud
WHAT IS A PENJOR?
When Galungan day approaches, the Balinese talent for making spectacular religious displays is evident all over Bali in the form of a Penjor. Balinese Hindus erect a penjor to symbolise the dominance of good (dharma) over evil (adharma), as well as offering thanks to God for the fruits of the Earth, and to show devotion to God in his manifestation as; Hyang Giri Pati (the God of the mountain).
These are placed in front of family compounds, shops and businesses as well as at the many temples. The PENJOR is an offering to the Gods, a temporary place of worship, facing the holy Mt Agung (Kaja side). It is made from a tall, curved bamboo pole which is then decorated with leaves, padi / dried rice stalks and offerings. Due to their length, (sometimes more than ten metres high), they droop charmingly over the pavement like an ancient street lamp. There is a small temple at the base of the Penjor to make daily offerings during the 10 days of Galungan and Kuningan. Penjor are seen all over Bali, swaying gently in the wind.
About halfway down the pole they attach a small cage in the shape of a triangle and made from bamboo, called Sanggah Cucuk. Offerings are placed in this and it is considered to be a temporary “throne” for the Gods when they come down to Earth for Galungan. If you take a close look at a Penjor, you’ll notice that at the extremity of the bamboo hangs a sampian (symbolises the cosmic wheel), ornamented with coconut leaves, rice and cakes, and also long strips of white and yellow material to symbolise that it is a holy offering. During Galungan and kuningan celebrations, the beautiful Penjor make the whole neighbourhood look spectacular!
The neighbourhood lanes with the Penjor draping above.