I am lucky enough to participate and watch the beautiful festival of Galungun. As I held the flowers in my hand during prayer and cleansed myself with the holy water, I truly began to feel peace. It was like I had been part of this religion forever. I feel that Hinduism represents exactly that - the inclusion of all things. We are one with the universe. The universe is one with us. All Hindu gods are one - just represented with different names.
Galungun is the Balinese festival of the triumph of Dharma over Dharma, or good over evil.
Poland During the time of Galungun, ancestral spirits visit the Earth. On the last day of this festival, the spirits leave earth and return to the rightful places. 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. If you have seen Eat, Pray, Love you may recognize these poles. A penjor symbolizes the mountain and the mountain itself is a symbol of the universe. During Galugun, each family contracts and erects a penjor outside the gates of their rumah, or home. Pejors are made with a curved bamboo pole and decorated with coconut leaves, sweet potato roots, fruit, rice cereal, leaves, traditional cakes, eleven Chinese coins, and space for offerings.
To the locals, this ceremony happens twice a year and is normal. To me, I was in awe. Every step the Balinese take is important. Its full of color and meaning.
Temples are decorated with colors of gold, white, and polang (black and white).