Galungan is the day of victory of Dharma over Adharma namely worshiping the victory of truth against untruth with the blessing of Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa. Galungan occurs once in the 210 days on Wednesday Kliwon Wuku Dungulan
The word “Galungan” derives from the ancient Javanese language that means “win” Galungan have the same meaning as “Dungulan”, which also means victory. Therefore, in Java, the 11 wuku so-called “Wuku Galungan” and in Bali called “Wuku Dungulan”. Both names are different but the meaning remains similar.
Until now, no one sure when the first Galungan was celebrated in Indonesia, Galungan was celebrated for the first time on the day of full moon Kapat, Budha Kliwon Dungulan, the Caka year 804 (882 AD).
When Galungan coincidence with the full moon or Purnama, the ceremony was held livelier. Because there is a belief that full moon is a day blessed by “Sanghyang Ketu ” namely god of brightness.
“Ketu” means light (as opposed to Rau which means dark). Therefore Galungan, which coincidence with the full moon is called “Galungan Nadi”, which occurred once 10 years. Based on Purana Bali Dwipa palm-leaf manuscript also mentioned that the island of Bali while celebrating the first Galungan was like Indra Loka or heaven.
Galungan celebration was halted at the time of King Sri Ekajaya (Saka year 1103) and Sri Dhanadi. But the time when Galungan celebrations has stopped, a lot of calamity and catastrophe befell the island, at that time many officers died relatively at young age.
When the King Sri Dhanadi died and was replaced by King Sri Jayakasunu in Caka year 1126, then Galungan was celebrated again after a few decades has stopped.
This story is all detail depicted in Sri Jayakasunu palm-leaf manuscript which told about the anxiety of King Sri Jayakasunu who felt wonder, that a lot officers died at their young age.
Therefore, after the King Sri Jayakasunu meditate to get closer to the gods in Dalem Puri temple, which its location is not far from Besakih temple.
When conducting asceticism, the King got magical whispers of from Goddess Durgha. In the magical whispers the Goddess Durgha explained to the king that his ancestors are always short-lived because they no longer celebrating Galungan.
Then goddess Durgha asked King Sri Jayakasunu to celebrate Galungan on every Wednesday Kliwon Dungulan accordance with the old tradition.
Then goddess Durgha also asked King Sri Jayakasunu and his people to put “penjor” has a meaning of gratitude for the abundant prosperity and welfare from Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa (God Almighty).
Penjor is the tall arching as the representation of Mount Agung, the holy places where gods reside. Penjor were embellished with decoration that consists of coconut, banana, sugarcane, paddy and cloth, which are the symbol of all plants, clothing and food.
A day before Galungan, on Tuesday, a self cleansing ceremony was held called Anggara Wage Dungulan or “Penampahan”, in which all desires must be eliminated as well as all negative human treats to be removed to welcome Galungan with poor hearts.
On the next day after Galungan, or Thursday all Balinese Hindu together enjoyed the offerings and perform purification with prayers at their respective homes at dawn with scented water (kumkuman) and holy water (tirtha). Then they visit each other and pray for safety.