Galungan Ceremonial : Penyekeban and Penyajaan PDF Print E-mail

 Galungan, a Balinese celebration to commemorate the victory of Dharma (virtue) over Adharma (evil) will be celebrated on March 18, 2009. But there is always a battle precede the celebration of victory. The peak of battle between Dharma against Adharma begin three days before Galungan, on Sunday Paing wuku Dunggulan (based on traditional Pawukon cycle calendar). This day is called Penyekeban by Balinese. The word “penyekeban” derived from the word “sekeb” which means “to cover up,” this word signifies the nature of enclosure or restraint. Balinese believe that on this day, the avant garde of evil, Kala-tiganing Galungan (three personifications of negative force which are Bhuta Galungan, Bhuta Dunggulan and Bhuta Amangkurat) come to the world.

As mentioned by the Holy Scripture, they are the symbol of Sad Ripu (six internal enemies, they are: kama (lust), loba (greed), krodha (anger), mada (drunkeness), moha (confusion). In this case the battle is not a physical battle but a battle against our own negative qualities. Sundarigama a sacred Balinese scripture describes this day as “den prayitna anjekung jnana nirmala, lamakane den kasurupan” which means “the day for self restrain in order not to be influenced by the evil force”. Penyekeban day for Balinese is always a day for cultivating self restraint (as the name of this day suggest) since it is an essential weapon for fighting the Adharma.

Not only spiritual activity is observed, but there are many physical activities in relation with the preparation to celebrate the day of victory (Galungan) are performed today. Green bananas are sealed in huge clay pots upon which a small coconut husk fire burns. Lots of bananas are required for Galungan offerings, and this heat treatment ripens them quickly. On this day peoples in tanah lot is also start to make cakes and keep the materials for Galungan day such as tape (a kind of Balinese snack that needs fermentation) to ripen. At short all implements needed to celebrate Galungan Holy Day are prepared today.

Penyajaan Galungan for Balinese is always a day full of cookies, Bali is covered with cookies. As its name suggest, the words “penyajaan” is derived from the word “jaja” which means “cookies. Various fried rice dough cookies are made for offering on Galungan (the day of victory). The creativity and patience of Balinese women are put into test when making these cookies since they usually have intricate pattern with different shapes and colors. Heaps of cookies are everywhere, in traditional markets, in roadside stalls and of course every house compound is filled with half processed cookies.

Penyajaan Galungan is also devoted for meditation and self control. Ancient lontar scripture, Sundarigama, describes this day as “Pangastawaning sang ngamong yoga samadhi.” This means “the day for those who practice yoga and meditation”. On this day the second personification of three evil forces (Bhuta Dunggulan) comes to the world to temp the human being. It is believed by Balinese that on this day, evil force (Bhuta Dunggulan) will temp humans with lust for power and control over someone else. For Balinese, self control and  meditation are the ultimate weapons for fighting the temptation of the evil force.