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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Indonesia, Lesson 25 - Balinese Galungan
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Indonesia Series at IndonesianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Indonesian holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 25, Balinese Galungan. In Indonesian, it’s called Galungan.
Galungan is one of the largest religious celebrations for Hindus in Bali. It falls on the fifteenth of every full moon, or bulan purnama in Indonesian, and celebrates the victory of good over evil. Although it is not a public holiday at this moment in time, schools, government offices, and services in Bali will typically close for the three-day period of this festival.
In this lesson, we will learn a little about Galungan celebrations.
Now, before we go into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Do you know the meaning of the word Galungan and when it began?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. So, keep listening.
Spiritual preparations for Galungan begin several days before the festival itself. Three days before Galungan, it is believed that evil spirits, or roh jahat, come to possess uncovered souls. To this end, the Balinese perform panyekeban, a symbolic act aimed at protecting the soul by covering fruit, especially young bananas, with clay vases. The next day is reserved for making Galungan delicacies, and the day immediately before Galungan is reserved for purging laziness from our lives, symbolized by the slaughtering of pigs.
After three days of self-purification, on Galungan Day, Balinese celebrate their victory over temptation and evil spirits. The whole family, or keluarga, will gather and conduct a ritual in the family temple, which is followed by a ritual in the village temple. Here, the previously prepared fruits and delicacies are brought to make offerings.
The next day is Manis Galungan. During this day, everyone immerses themselves in joy, celebrating Galungan by visiting family, or taking strolls along the beach. Swimming in the sea is one of the long-held symbols of cleansing one’s body, or tubuh, and soul, or jiwa, of evil spirits.
Galungan is celebrated every 210 days, according to the Pakuwon calendar. Therefore, Hindus in Bali often celebrate Galungan twice in one Gregorian year.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know the meaning of the word Galungan and when it began?
The word Galungan originates from an ancient Javanese word meaning “win” or “fight.” The Galungan ritual itself is thought to have begun in the year 804 Saka.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Had you ever heard about Galungan before?
Leave us a comment telling us at IndonesianPod101.com!
And we’ll see you in another series!