Sunday, 29 March 2009

kuningan at tabanan

Sunday 29th March 2009

I had the good fortune to be able to join another Balinese family in their Kuningan celebrations, yesterday...

If Galungan is the welcoming of one’s ancestors to Earth, then Kuningan is the time to bid them farewell as they return to heaven. Kuningan is officially a tumpek day and means “yellow”. Like all the other Tumpek days, it always falls on a Saturday, in this case the second one after Galungan.

On the morning of Kuningan, Balinese pray to their ancestors. They believe they should do so before midday, which is said to be the time when their ancestors go on their way. Offerings are made to the Gods as well as their ancestors. The yellow rice placed in a bowl made of coconut leaves called endongan. This is accompanied by small offerings of peanuts, spiced grated coconut and tiny salted fish. The food is for their ancestors to take with them on their journey. The Balinese hope that with this offering their ancestors will continue to protect and guide them in their daily lives.

Temples and house fronts are decorated with coconut leaves and flowers. The leaves are carved into delicate shapes and draped over objects, particularly shrines in the family temple. Some modern Balinese even dress up their cars.

Manis Kuningan is the day for visiting family and friends. You will see many families travelling around the island together. The beaches and recreations spots are always full on this day.

i travelled to the village of Tunjuk in Tabanan to meet the family of a friend and celebrate Kuningan with them and one of the main temples there was also having it's Odalan (birthday) so there were great celebrations. it was amazing to be back in a kampung (village) which was quiet, peaceful but yet full of the happy chatter that goes hand-in-hand with balinese ceremonies all over the island. the temple was full of people bringing their offerings to pray. and there was dance and gamelan. as usual, i am blessed with the people i get to meet here and how they so readily open up their lives and homes to welcome outsiders into the daily rhythm of their life...
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