Kuningan Starts Today in Bali

mini-img_4618Today in Bali is Kuningan. Occurring once in every 210 days in the Balinese cycle of days, Kuningan is the end of the most important of the regular religious ceremonies for the 10-day Galungan period. During this 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. Those families who have uncremated deceased ones buried in the village cemetery must make offerings at the graves. Kuningan takes its name from the fact that special offerings of yellow rice (nasi kuning) are made by colouring ordinary white rice with tumeric (kunyit). It is a time for family groups, prayers, and offerings, as their ancestors return to heaven.

This Galungan period is also a symbolic representation of a battle between good and evil, and the most important function of Kuningan is to celebrate the victory of good over evil so that the balance and harmony of the world can be maintained. Unlike the more public processions of village temple ceremonies and cremations, most Kuningan celebrations take place in the privacy of the home, in the shrines of the family temple and house compound. The day after Kuningan is a time for a holiday, visiting, and having fun.