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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Galungan Dec 2010 Part 1: Flower Power!

My long awaited holiday is over.. Sigh... But I still need to tell you how it goes ;).

As you have probably read in my previous Galungan and Kuningan post, Galungan is a celebration of the Dharma (good) victory against Adharma (not good). Balinese Hindu celebrate it with various offerings and prayers, and all family (commonly) gathered to prepare the big day: the feast, the offering, and so on. It's almost like Christmas or Thanksgiving (but minus the presents and the turkeys) or Ied-ul Fitri (minus the fasting - thank God!).

For women, the preparation starts with preparing the offerings, which consists of flowers, fruits, dainty cakes, and various types of offering complementer made from young coconut frond (which is a piece of art itself). Making the frond arrangement is quite a task for me, but not shopping ;)

As I reside in Denpasar, the best place to shop all the flowers we need is at Pasar (market) Badung. This market is currently undergo renovation, but it still fabulously fantastic to visit especially days berfore a Bali Holy Day. The flowers are just everywhere! The sack that you see on the right below is flower petals of Rose Balsam or Bunga Pacah. Can't believe how many flowers needed for one sack, and there they trade it by tons. They also have shredded pandan leaves, all by sacks.

Also selling lotus flowers, hydrangea, ylang ylang, and sweet smelling champaka. You are welcome to buy it, even just for giving scent in your room. The price is about IDR 1000 per champaka, but it may fluctuates during (or near) Holy days.

Pasar Badung also have various food stalls, fruit stalls, anything you need for your praying and also daily cooking. Imagine going to farm market and multiply it to 10, that would sum it up, and it's only the seller on the outside of the building (Pasar Badung also have a solid building for Balinese Clothes seller, souvenirs and such). The surrounding, however, was well maintained as "old town" complex.

Back to business, I took a shot of what one of the offering complementer will be (Canangs). The case is made from young coconut frond, and it was filled with flowers, pandan leaves, sugar cane, banana, and stuff I'm not sure what it called in English (or even in Indonesia!). It's rich in meaning, rich in color, rich in everything. Balinese did a fine work for God ;).

Shopping for Galungan at Pasar Badung is really fun. I enjoy the sight of the old buildings and shops around, which combine really well with the noise and the sweet flower smell. What can I say, I'm a sensualist hehehe... If you haven't been there, go, and enjoy yourself :). Gajah Mada Town Festival is also a great way to get to know more about this fabulous place, and it is usually held on December 28-30. Who said shopping in traditional places is a nuisance?


  1. is there a story behind type of flower used? - i really like the smell of cempaka :D

  2. @Vidyaputra: no, there aren't any specific story I think. But some refrain from using red pacah or Kembang Mitir for various reason. Cempaka is widely used, but as it is more expensive than the other flower it is used only considerately. I agree with you, it smells great!

  3. Hi there! I'll be helping with a wedding preparation in Bali next week, and I'm hoping to purchase flowers from Pasar Badung. Could you please advice me on the best time to visit the market (e.g. 6am), and the expected costs of rose petals and hydrangeas? Thanks so much in advance!

    1. Hi Eunice, I have been living in US for the past 2 years so I don't know the current market price. But I do know morning time is probably the best time to go there: not so hot and tge flowers are still fresg#


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