Bali Culture – Kuningan Day
Today is Kuningan day in Bali. The word Kuning in Bahasa Indonesian means Yellow and Nasi Kuning is delicious yellow rice (Nasi) made with coconut milk and tumeric.
10 days after Galungan it is believed that the spirits of the ancient ancestors return to heaven. It is technically the last day of the Galungan celebration. All the decorations (penjors) that have been used for Galungan will be removed after Kuningan day ends.
To celebrate the departure of the spirits, offerings of Nasi Kuning are placed in a bowl made of coconut leaves. The yellow rice is the symbol of human’s gratitude towards God for all the life, joy, wealth, health and prosperity given. The bowls are decorated with a small figures of shadow puppets which represents angels that bring joy and wealth to earth.
Many Balinese return to their villages to celebrate Kuningan with their families. Houses and temples are adorned with tamiang and endongan decorations
A round shield and representing protection, defence, and the cycle of the globe. It functions as a reminder to humans of karma and that they should protect themselves from bad behaviour.
Endongan means bag of provisions. It is made of coconut leaves and shaped like a bag or a pocket. The Balinese put different things like seeds, fruits, tuber inside the endongan. It is a symbol of food supply for the journey of the ancestors from earth to heaven.
In some villages, Barongs or ngelawangs – lion like creatures – are going from house to house followed by kids playing traditional Balinese music instruments. If a barong arrives in front of your house, you should give an offering called canang with sesari (money) on it, after receiving the offering; the barong will dance and bless your house and your family.