29 February 2020
Kuningan is derived from the word “kuning”, which means yellow. It is the final day of a long series of ceremonies and prayers conducted for the Galungan celebrations. The Balinese believe that on this day, their ancestors return to heaven after visiting earth in the days surrounding Galungan. As a symbol of gratitude, they make offerings of yellow rice placed in bowls made of coconut leaves along with a slew of offerings and presentations and hold prayers, rituals and ceremonies in their homes and family temples. The bowls are decorated with figures of shadow puppets, which represent angels that bring joy and wealth to earth. Throughout Bali, the Barong, a mythical Balinese creature that symbolizes good health, purity and good fortune go from door-to-door followed by children playing traditional Balinese musical instruments. It is customary to give a small donation when you see the Barong for good luck. The children will happily put on a performance for you if you do. Kuningan is an important day for the Balinese, and most will be taking the day off to be with their families in their respective villagers for prayers and other cultural activities.