Galungan is one of the most important recurring Hindu celebrations of the religious calendar when the creator of the universe and the spirits of ancestors are honored. This is when the spirits of deceased relatives return to visit their former homes for 10 days until another Hindu celebration, know as Kuningan. 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.
Local Balinese Hindus can be seen walking and driving to temples wearing their ceremony best, often carrying offerings of food and flowers.
Located 18km north of Ubud, in Tampaksiring is the site of Bali’s holiest spring.
The spring waters of Tirta Empul are believed to be healing: curing ailments and preventing bad dreams. The waters will rejuvenate your youth too, such is the apparent powers of this mystical and holy place.
Behind the bathing pools is a temple with a large array of intricately carved and painted temple pavilions.
Inside the Balinese pray and a priest directs the order of prayer with chanting and the ringing of a bell.
Tirta Empul is a pleasant and restful place to view: a spiritual experience where one can reflect, refresh and wander.
Note: For those wanting to bathe, it’s recommended that you hire a guide before arriving as there is a “respectful” process to follow.
Purnama (or full moon) is a special day in Bali for ceremonies and festivities. Hundreds of temples all over the island celebrate this special day hosting impressive ceremonies in traditional clothing. Balinese believe that Purnama is an auspicious day when Gods descend to the earth and give their blessing.
On this revered day, hundreds of ceremonies are held in all parts of the island to please and honour the gods with offerings. These offerings include food, fruit and flowers.
The Balinese themselves are then blessed by performing assorted rituals using petals, rice grains, holy water and incense smoke.