Hari Raya Kuningan: The Spirits Return to Heaven
10 Days after the Galungan ceremonies in Bali, Hari Raya Kuningan takes place. It marks the end of the full Galungan festival.
In the Balinese calendar, Kuningan is in fact the third ‘tumpek’ ceremony of the Balinese year, which takes place on the Saturday of the 12th week of the Pakuwon cycle; it should in fact be called Tumpek Kuningan. On this day, the visiting deities and ancestors who ‘descended’ to Earth for Galungan, return to their heavenly abodes.
Like Galungan, but perhaps slightly less than, this day is also filled with life and colour! Its very name is derived from the world yellow, or ‘kuning’. This stems from the fact that yellow rice is used as the special offerings on this day, the rice receiving its colour from the yellow root of turmeric, often used in cooking.
Prayers, offerings and family visits can be seen throughout the day. Most Kuningan celebrations take place in the privacy of the home, in the shrines of the family temple and housing compound.
Again, like Galungan, the day after Kuningan is spent visiting friends and family and having fun. This is called Manis Kuningan. We know, the Balinese have lots, and lots of holidays it seems. Just remember that it takes a lot of time, money and work just to prepare each festival or ceremony in the first place!
Watch this video of Galungan & Kuningan from our friends and partners at Bali Go Live, the island’s official YouTube channel:-