South Kuta Beach Business Association’s Penjor Competition

On Monday, 19 May 2014, all of the hotels in the South Kuta Beach area will be participating in a Penjor Competition, organised by the South Kuta Beach Business Association (SKBBA), to prepare for Galungan.

Galungan is a Balinese holiday that signifies the victory of Virtue (Dharma) over Evil (Adharma). This important festival occurs every 210 days. It will begin this year on Wednesday 21st May and will last for 10 days. During this time, the Balinese gods and ancestral spirits descend to Earth to be honoured. They will leave on Kuningan, which is the final day of the holiday.

The Penjor is a slender, eight-metre high, gracefully arching bamboo pole, festooned with colourful flowers, fruit, unhusked rice and palm frond ornamentation, with an offering at the base. This is used by the Hindus in Bali as part of almost every important ceremony, especially for the anniversary temple celebrations. The Sri Jaya Kasunu manuscript states that the penjor symbolises the mountain, and the mountain itself is the symbol of the universe. Therefore, for the Balinese, the penjor is synonymous with Mount Agung, the highest and holiest mountain in Bali.

The aim of placing penjors at Galungan is to show devotion to God in his manifestation as the god of the mountain (Hyang Giri Pati). Mountains with deep forests hold a lot of water, which flows into rivers. This then fulfils water needs for irrigation and drinking water. During the Galungan celebrations, each family places a penjor outside their gate, which makes the whole neighbourhood look splendid.

All the SKBBA hotels will place their penjor in front of their hotel entrance. Visitors to the South Kuta Beach area will be amazed by the beautiful, Balinese atmosphere within the South Kuta Beach streets during this 10-day celebration.

Everyone is welcome to watch the Penjor Competition, which will take place at District Parking area   located in Jalan Kartika next to Discovery Shopping Mall from 8am to 12noon on Monday 19th May. All of the bamboo for the competition has been supplied by the SKBBA with the objective to encourage other businesses and the local communities to take part in the competition, which in turn will pull the community together, create an attraction, and educate visitors about the Balinese Hindu culture and traditions. There will be at least 40 Penjors, and a jury will be selecting the winner between 12noon and 1pm prior to placing all the Penjors on the streets on Monday afternoon. Hopefully this will become an attraction that will grow year after year, showcasing the culture and keeping the traditional skills alive.

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