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The Balinese celebration of Galungan and Kuningan @ Angel House Ubud

February 19TH 2020 – February 29TH 2020

The Balinese use two traditional calendars, distinct from the Gregorian calendar that we use:

  • The main one is the Pawukon: one year counts 210 days only. The celebrations’ dates vary then every year in contrast with our calendar.

  • The second calendar is Saka, which comes from the Indian system. Each month starts after the new moon, which leads to large ceremonies.


When Galungan day approaches, the Balinese talent for making spectacular religious displays is evident all over Bali in the form of a Penjor. The Penjor symbolises good (dharma) over evil (adharma). The Penjor also serves as an offering of thanks to God for the fruits of the Earth, and to show devotion to God in his manifestation as the God of the mountain (Hyang Giri Pati).

The PENJOR is both an offering to the God AND a temporary place of worship. Penjor’s are placed in front of family compounds, shops, businesses and at the many temples found in Bali.  They are erected facing holy Mt Agung (Kaja/North side); and are made from a tall, curved bamboo pole 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 ancient street lamps. At the base of the Penjor is a small temple where daily offerings are made during the 10 days of Galungan and Kuningan. Offerings are placed in this temporary “throne” for the Gods when they come down to Earth to celebrate Galungan. If you take a close look at a Penjor, you’ll notice that at the extremity of the bamboo hangs a decorative circle OR Sampian which symbolises the cosmic wheel. During Galungan and kuningan celebrations, the beautiful Penjor make the whole neighbourhood look spectacular, swaying gently in the wind. http://www.angelhouseubud.com


The neighbourhood lanes with the Penjor draping above.

Penjor for Galungan and Kuningan at Angel House Ubud

Temple at base of Penjor

Galungan and Kuningan. Penjor

The temple is ‘dressed’ for Galungan and Kuningan Celebrations