Part I

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Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Honoring the Almighty God and Creator of the entire universe (Ida Sang Hyang Widhi) as well as the victory of Virtue against Evil, the Hindu followers on the island of Bali conduct the religious festivals of Galungan. This year, the series of Galungan ceremonies will commence on 10th February 2016 and end with the pinnacle of Kuningan on 20th February 2016.

For 10 consecutive days, the entire island will be highlighted with all kinds of traditional decorations as well as various rituals and festivities concentrated on Bali's many temples, including the island's mother temple, Pura Besakih.

Celebrated every 210 days according to the Hindu Saka Calendar, Galungan symbolizes the victory of Dharma over Adharma or virtue over evil which has its origin in the mythology of "Mayadenawa". It is believed that during the ten days of Galungan, all the gods, as well as the supreme deity Ida Sang Hyang Widi, will come down to earth and join the festivities. The Balinese also believe that the spirit of ancestors and deceased relatives return to visit their homes, and for this reason the various rituals conducted and offerings given to welcome them.

During the festival, all across island sprout tall bamboo poles called "penjor" – that are decorated with fruit, coconut leaves, and flowers, and set up on the right side at the entrance of every home. At each gate, one will also find small bamboo altars set up especially for the holiday, each carrying woven palm-leaf offerings for the spirits.

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