Penjor lining a road in Bali at Galungan
Also called Galungan
Observed by Balinese Hinduism
Type Hindus, cultural
Observances Prayers, Religious rituals
Date Decided by the Hindu Balinese pawukon calendar
Related to Diwali (in India), Tihar (in Nepal), Swanti (among Newar in Nepal)

Galungan is a Balinese holiday celebrating the victory of dharma over adharma.[1] It marks the time when the ancestral spirits visit the Earth. The last day of the celebration is Kuningan, when they return. The date is calculated according to the 210-day Balinese calendar. It is related to Diwali, celebrated by Hindus in other parts of the world, which also celebrates the victory of dharma over adharma.[2][3] Diwali, however, is held at the end of the year.


Galungan marks the beginning of the most important recurring religious ceremonies. The spirits of deceased relatives who have died and been cremated return to visit their former homes, and the current inhabitants have a responsibility to be hospitable through prayers and offerings. The most obvious sign of the celebrations are the penjor - bamboo poles with offerings suspended at the end. These are installed by the side of roads. A number of days around the Kuningan day have special names, and are marked by the organization of particular activities.[4]

Name of day Activities
3 days before Penyekeban Cooking of bananas for offerings
2 days before Penyajaan Making of jaja (fried rice cakes)
1 day before Penampahan Slaughtering of pigs or chicken for feasts
1 day after Manis Galungan Visiting family
10 days after Kuningan Prayers, offerings - spirits return to heaven
11 days after Manis Kuningan Fun


Galungan begins on the Wednesday (Buda) of Dunggulan, the 11th week of the 210-day pawukon calendar. This means that there are often two celebrations per solar year. Dates for 2017-2020 are as follows:[5]

Year Galungan Kuningan
2017 April 5 April 15
2017 November 1 November 11
2018 May 30 June 9
2018-2019 December 26 January 5
2019 July 22 August 3
2020 February 19 February 29
2020 September 16 September 26


  • Southeast Asia TravelSearch Accessed 1 November 2017
  • Eiseman, Fred B. Jr, Bali: Sekala and Niskala Volume I: Essays on Religion, Ritual and Art pp 182-185, Periplus Editions, 1989 ISBN 0-945971-03-6
  • Pancorbo, Lo balinés", en "Fiestas del Mundo. Las Máscaras de la Luna". pp. 33–41. Ediciones del Serbal, Barcelona, 1996.


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