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Galungan

Today in Bali it is the start of Galungan. Occurring once in every 210 days in the Balinese cycle of days, Galungan marks the beginning of the most important recurring religious ceremony that is celebrated by all Balinese at the same time. During the Galungan period the deified ancestors of the family descend to their former homes. They must be suitably entertained and welcomed, and prayers and offerings must be made for them. The families who have ancestors that have not yet been cremated, but are still buried in the village cemetery, must make offerings at the graves.

On this day of Galungan, you will find that most Balinese will try to return to their own ancestral home at some stage during the day, even if they work in another part of the island.

This is a very special day for families, where offerings are made to God and to the family ancestors who have come back to rest at this time in their family temple. As well as the family temple, visits are made to the village temple with offerings as well, and to the homes of other families who may have helped the family in some way over the past six months.

The day after Galungan is a time for a holiday, visiting friends, maybe taking the opportunity to head for the mountains for a picnic. Everyone is still seen to be in their best attire as they take to the streets to enjoy the festive spirit that Galungan brings to Bali.