Kuningan comes from the Balinese word for yellow “kuning”. It is considered one of the six “tumpek” days in the Pawukon Calendar, which is 210 days long. Tumpek means Saturday and day’s celebration depends on whether the it happens in conjunction with Panca Wara Kliwon, part of the complex counting system of the calendar.
On Kuningan Day, turmeric is used to impart its yellow color to specially made rice offerings. Beginning with Galungan 10 days earlier, Kuningan marks the end of a major ritual cycle that celebrates the victory of Dharma over Adharma (basically good over evil) during which ancestors descend from their spiritual abode to be in the presence of their families. Special foods and offerings are prepared and prayers are made. It is a unique and festive holiday season.
On the 17th week of the Pawukon calendar is Tumpek Krulut, which, like Kuningan, takes its name from the week of its occurrence. On this day offerings are made to the musical instruments, masks and dance costumes used in many of the religious ceremonies in Bali. The instruments are decorated with coconut leaf offerings and holy water is sprinkled over them.
Tumpek Krulut is also consider as a day of affection or love, and so some people refer to it as the Balinese Valentine’s Day Celebration.
The four other Tumpek celebrations are as follows:
- Tumpek Landep -the celebration of metal and sharp objects, such as knives and cars. Even computers receive offerings!
- Tumpek Unduh – the celebration of nature and trees
- Tumpek Kandang – the celebration of livestock
- Tumpek Wayang – the celebration of wayang puppets
Ceremonies in Bali
Tourists come and go, but Bali has managed to preserve its ancient traditions for many centuries. Balinese people follow a unique form of Hinduism – Agama Hindu Dharma . Balinese Hinduists believe in a power of nature, and that each element is influenced by spirits. Spirits and ancestors are very highly revered, which it is commonplace to see people making offerings every day. Many ceremonies acknowledge a transition or a rite of passage, for instance, to celebrate a new life, a new marriage, or to honour of a life well lived.
Full Moon And New Moon Ceremonies And Traditions In Bali
The island of Bali is all about finding balance, harmony and peace and Balinese Hinduism is a great reflection of that. The Balinese tend to pray to the demons and Gods alike in their Hindu Dharma religion, which includes honouring the shadow and light to find balance in life. This play of opposing forces and the acceptance of light and dark, joy and sorrow, benevolence as well as maliciousness is called Rwa Binneda in Balinese culture. Which better way to honor just that than on each full and new moon!
The New Moon plays an important role on the island of Bali, where several Hindu holidays are timed to this auspicious day when the moon turns black.