The penjor is a tall, curved bamboo pole decorated with
coconut leaves with an offering at the base. This is one
of the media used by Hindus in Bali as part of almost every
important ceremony, especially for the anniversary temple
The Sri Jaya Kasunu manuscript states that the penjor symbolizes
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 erecting penjors at Galungan is to show devotion
to God in His manifestation as Hyang Giri Pati (the God
of the mountain). Mountains with deep forests hold a lot
of water, which flows into rivers. This then fulfils water
needs for irrigation and drinking water.
During Galungan celebrations, each family erects a penjor
outside their gate, which makes the whole neighborhood look
Material for a Penjor
The basic material of a penjor is a curved bamboo pole.
The pole is then decorated with yellow coconut leaves, pala
bungkah (roots - sweet potato or cassava), pala gantung
(fruit - cucumbers, oranges, bananas), pala wija (cereal
- rice, corn), plawa (leaves), traditional cakes, 11 Chinese
coins, and a small shrine with some offerings.
All materials for a penjor constitute peoples' basic needs,
signifying that we should take care of those things. In
addition, livestock sacrificed for the ceremony are believed
to become better creatures in their next life.