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Galungan Arrives, Grace with Penjor

Galungan Arrives Grace with PenjorIf you’re traveling in Bali in late March and early April 2013, you will be a lucky person because you will encounter that Balinese Hindu community is celebrating two holidays namely Galungan and Kuningan. Various cultural activities will jazz up each the festivity. Surely, the moment is going to result in a very impressive experience.

Galungan falls on Buda Kliwon Dungulan (Wednesday, Mar 27) as a day to commemorate the creation of universe along with its contents as well as the victory of dharma against adharma. On this day, the Hindus make offerings presented to Supreme God along with his manifestation as an expression of gratitude upon his grace.

Series of the festivities has been begun on Tumpek Uduh or Tumpek Pengatag, Saturday, last March 2. At that time, the ritual is given to fruit trees that will be used as a means of oblation ingredient for the festivity coming every 210 days. However, the vibrant celebration starts on Anggara Wage Dungulan (Tuesday) March 24 or a day before Galungan characterized by the installation of penjor.

Penjor is made from bamboo pole embellished with young coconut leaves. The upper edge curves down as a symbol of mountain. Various agricultural products such as rice, coconut, banana and other fruits are used to adorn the penjor. A piece of yellow-white fabric completed with Omkara sacred script makes it unique. Various leaves are used to embellish such as cabbage tree and banyan.

After the penjor is installed at the entrance to the house, the upper end should be facing the middle of road. Having installed a bamboo shrine near the penjor, it is then equipped with lamak, sampyan and other types of leaf oblation paraphernalia. At the upper end of penjor is festooned with a piece of white cloth symbolizing purity. Penjor signifies an offering of gratitude to God for all the blessing bestowed. On Kuningan Day, the offerings are completed with endongan, tamiang and kolem.

Penjor is installed for 1 month according to Balinese pawukon-based calendar (35 days) and taken out after Buda Kliwon Pegatuakan or Wednesday, May 1, 2013. It is installed as an expression of gratitude and a sense of devotion to God in his manifestation as Hyang Giripati.

Penjor having economic value
The making of penjor is usually done by family members, especially the young with great togetherness and sincerity. Mutual assistance and cooperation are highly visible in the making of it. Its shape is also very simple because it does not put emphasis on the beauty but completeness of the ingredients.

Unlike in the present time, penjor is nicely and beautifully made as well as given some ornamental elements. Besides, its form is not monotonous, but has been creatively varied. However, the essential ingredients in penjor are still maintained. For example, the penjor is now given additional elements such as dragon sculpture, colorful lights and various forms of creative tamiang, lamak and other coconut leaf arrangement. On that account, the penjor has now economic value.

Penjor and various decorative elements have been on sale at Kapal village, Badung, becoming the sales center of various penjor accessories, for instance, the Puspa Asih Store located on Jalan Raya Kapal, precisely in front Village Temple. The store offers various kinds of penjor ornament, even some of them are hung on roadside trees.

Circular leaf ornament, grain, bamboo shrine, Omkara script festoon and gold leaf velvet ornament are widely sold. The price on offer varies such as the cobra circular ornament is sold for IDR 50,000, paddy (IDR 20,000) per 5 meters and lenteran (IDR 25,000). Other than Hindu community in Bali, foreign tourists are also eager to purchase those ornaments. (BTN/015/agus)

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