Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Having passed beyond Nyepi (Silent Day), we are now approaching Galungan in Bali. This is a celebration of the victory of good over evil and extends for about a week to Kuningan. During Galungan, deceased relatives visit their ancestral homes, and families make them welcome with offerings, such as those depending from the long bamboo poles set up along the streets (photo). On Kuningan, the spirits again depart. Typically, there will be a number of ceremonies devoted to the observance of each day during this period--which, to those of us who do not celebrate Galungan/Kuningan, translates to a likelihood of finding the local warung or grocery store or other business closed (although, on the other hand, certain tourist restaurants have special Galungan dinners featuring staff in ceremonial costume). Just before Galungan, one can see many of these long bamboo poles being transferred by motorbike to whatever street upon which they will be erected, which means, essentially, that the driver is steering with one hand while holding a lance in the other. It is a bit like bringing the Christmas Tree home, although one generally does not see this task performed on a motorbike. 

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