Today is the most important day of the year for the Balinese. They believe that each family’s ancestral spirits will return to their home for a 10-day celebration of good over evil. Called “Galungan,” meaning “when the Dharma (good) is winning,” the festival is held every 210 days. During the festival, it’s believed that the Balinese gods visit their living descendants on Earth, so the occasion is marked with ceremonies that involve offerings, food and dance.
The residents of Jimbaran village dress to the nines in white Balinese attire, make huge, colorful offers of fruit and build penjor — tall, decorated bamboo poles. The markets fill with activity as everyone prepares for elaborate feasts.
The AYANA Resort and Spa’s staff follows the tradition, making this a particularly special time to visit Bali. With a name that means “place of refuge” in Sanskrit, the AYANA resort offers just that to weary travelers. Perched on limestone cliffs above the Indian Ocean near Jimbaran Bay on Bali’s southwestern peninsula, the resort is a luxurious place to visit, whether you come during Galungan or not.
Home to one of the world’s largest seawater therapy pools, 12 restaurants, an 18-hole golf course, tennis pavilion and a perfume-making studio — do you need any more reason to come to Bali?
The day after Galungan is the time for the real holiday, as Balinese Hindus visit friends and go back to their family’s home, continuing to celebrate this meaningful day in which the power of darkness was destroyed by the forces of good.