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Home » Religion

Kuningan (A Day for Family)  

by on Saturday, 9 December 20063 Comments | 1,686 views

On 9th December 2006  Balinese will celebrate Kuningan day. Kuningan takes its name from the fact that a special offering that is presented in this holyday is yellow rice (nasi kuning) is made by colouring ordinary white rice with tumeric (kunyit). Kuningan occurs once in every 210 days in the Balinese Pawukon cycle (traditional Balinese calendar). The Kuningan Day is the time for commemoration as the ancestors return to the heaven after ten days dwelling on earth and the Balinese express their gratitude to gods for His mercy to the human races.


Kuningan is a special day for ancestor worship since it is the last day of ancestor visit to the earth. On this day the deified ancestor will be suitably entertained and welcomed, and prayers and offerings must be made for them. Those families who have uncremated deceased ones buried in the village cemetery must make offerings at the graves. The Kuningan ceremony must be held before noon, since Balinese believes that the ancestors will ascent back to their respective abode at noon. The ceremony will be held in every Balinese’s family temple (sanggah or merajan). A special offering (Banten Kuningan) is made as a sign of respect to the ancestors. The offering consists of yellow rice (nasi kuning), for Balinese yellow is the symbol of greatness and magnificence. Tamiang (a decorative young coconut leaf arrangement resembles a shield), tar (a decorative young coconut leaf arrangement resembles a weapon) and endongan leaf are obligatory decorations of Kuningan. They are hanged below the roof of shrines and houses. They represent the sense of security and awareness of Balinese in facing the life after Galungan period is over.


Kuningan is a private family holyday the ceremony is within the house compound in the shrines of the family temple (sanggah or merajan). Only those who have family ties will attend the ceremony, unlike the cremations or more public processions of village temple ceremonies.

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    • Mahadewi said:

      Name for Kuningan Day is actually taken from “wuku” Kuningan on Balinesse calendar and there is no connection between colour used for the offering

      Thank you

    • sidarta said:

      the origin of name “kuningan” is an open subject for debate. for kuningan as a part of galungan period i am not sure it’s derive from the wuku’s name. why i am not sure? we have to take the consideration of Galungan case. Galungan falls in wuku dunggulan. galungan is the day of victory, the meaning of the word galungan is a victory. and the meaning of the word dunggulan is also victory. i have a tendency that the wuku dunggulan derived its name from the celebration of galungan. and there is a probability that the wuku kuningan derives its name from the kuningan ceremony.
      besides there is no authoritative texts which can be based for finding the origin of the kuningan’s name.

    • wie bali said:

      mmm nie theme kayaknya aq kenal deh …!
      pasti pake wp thermia ya…!

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