Penampahan Galungan Day

Untitled-4-pnmphn.jpgOne day before Galungan Day which falls on Tuesday (Anggara). The word ‘Penampahan’ is derived from ‘tampah’ which means ‘slaughter’. It is the day when people slaughter their bad behaviors, bad thought, bad manners and bad words which is symbolized by slaughtering animals for offerings, mostly pig. It is believed that the hardest seduction from Bhuta Amangkurat occurs on this day. Therefore, Bhuta Yadnya (holy sacrifice) is done for the harmonic balance between the visible and the insible world.

During the day of Penampahan Galungan animals are sacrificed (in particular pigs and chickens) as special offerings which are meant to get rid of negativity in both the bhuana agung (the environment of the individual human being) and the bhuana alit (the inner world of the individual human being); the meat is afterwards prepared and cooked for traditional Balinese dishes such as lawar, babi guling,and satay. Especially the Balinese children are looking forward to Penampahan Galungan as it is a typical family party day with lots of delicious dishes.

Untitled-2-pnmphn.jpgThe adults however are extremely busy during this day with the final preparations of the Galungan offerings. At Penampahan Galungan the Kala-tiganing Galungan or Sang Kala Tiga in the shape of Sang Bhuta Amangkurat descends for the third and last time to earth to tempt mankind to adharma.

Penampahan is derived from the Balinese word tampah which means ‘(to) kill, slaughter’. The killing of animals in this respect is symbolic for killing ‘the animal inside yourself’ – the victory of the higher self over the ego in their struggle for control of the inner power of the individual; implicity this symbolizes the victory of dharma over adharma.

The physical and spiritual cleansing of the bhuana alit and the bhuana agung is achieved with a special Bhuta Yadnya ceremony (Mabyakala) for the family members and by presenting segehan offerings to Sang Bhuta Galungan in order to protect the buildings, yards, weapons, working tools, as well as the family members. The Mabyakala ceremony has to be performed in the afternoon when the sun sets. This ceremony is either privately performed at the family temple of the house compound, or together with other families at the Bale Banjar of the village quarter.


On this day, people also should make ‘penjor’, a bamboo pole beautifully decorated by young coconut leaves and various ornaments. It is put up in front of every house building, symbolizing the great Mount Agung, and the presence of God Almighty. Various leaves, plantations, crops, fruits and traditional cakes in diverse shapes and colors beautify the bamboo pole which means that every element of the world is represented in ‘penjor’. It also shows the gratitude upon God Almighty because all things available on earth come from God.


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