What is Galungun in Bali all about?

February 10, 2016

So you want to visit Bali and see something of their ancient traditions? Galungun is the perfect time to visit Ubud and be a part of the festivities!

VIlla Tirta Indah balinese greeting

The traditional Balinese greeting on your arrival at the entrance to Villa Tirta Indah

Galungan is a Balinese holiday celebrating the victory of dharma over adharma. It marks the time when the ancestral spirits visit the Earth. This February 10th-20th is the next Galungun celebration.

Traditional Balinese Calendar

Traditional Balinese Calendar

The date is calculated according to the 210-day Balinese calendar and takes place only twice a year. This festival begins three days before Galungan during “Penyekeban,” when families begin their preparations for Galungan. “Penyekeban” literally means “the day to cover up.”  This is the day when green bananas are covered up in huge clay pots to speed their ripening.  

green bananas are covered up in huge clay pots to speed their ripening

“Penyekeban” literally means “the day to cover up.”


Then, two days before Galungan is “Penyajahan,” which marks a time of introspection for the Balinese peoples. It is also the time to make the traditional cakes known as jaja. These colored cakes made of fried rice dough are used in offerings and are especially for feasting on Galungan. This is the only times of the year you can easily find a glut of jaja in every village market!

jajacakes on Penyajahan in Bali

Penyajahan is an introspective day when jaja cakes are made


The day before Galungan, known as “Penampahan”, is slaughter day. Balinese slaughter the sacrificial animals that will go into the temple or altar offerings prior to feasting the following day. Galungan is the day marked by the feasting of traditional Balinese food, like lawar (a spicy pork and coconut sauce dish) and satay.

lawar and satay

Balinese people enjoy dishes like lawar and satay (above)

The last day of the celebration is called Kuningan, when these spirits return from where they came.

Kuningan leftovers

Kuningan is when the spirits return to where they came from


If you want to relax away from the center of everything, then please consider visiting us at Villa Tirta Indah! Where you will be only 15 minutes from the city city, made comfortable and always very welcome.

Villa Tirta Indah

Visit Bali and stay at Villa Tirta Indah

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