Ten days after Galungan, Balinese Hindus celebrate the feast of Kuningan, which this year falls on 15 April 2017. As glorious as Galungan, the celebration of Kuningan is also marked with prayers and offerings. People decorate their houses and temples with palm-leaf ornaments. Special among these is the tamiang.

What is a tamiang?

The tamiang is an ornament made from palm leaves and shaped like a round shield. It is usually hung in every corner of each building in the house yard as well as at the family temple.

Why is the tamiang in form of armaments?

The tamiang is a symbolic device to deflect danger. Its round shape signifies the Dewata Nawa Sanga mandala representing the nine major Hindu gods and their corresponding nine cardinal directions (including the center). By hanging a tamiang in every corner, it is hoped that no sadness, temptation, danger or bad energies will disturb the family.

On another level of meaning, the form of tamiang as armaments instructs people to be aware of their environment and keep a good ‘weapon’ within them — that is, a sharp mind or critical thinking.

When should tamiang be displayed?

The tamiang is used only when celebrating Kuningan. It is normally hung on the day before Kuningan, to maintain the freshness of the palm leaves.

Endongan

Another ornament that is only found on Kuningan Day is the endongan. The tamiang and endongan are inseparable features on Kuningan Day.

The endongan is made of coconut leaves and shaped like a pouch. Some natural products are put inside, such as fruits, sugar cane, and other food stuffs. The endongan is a symbol of supplies. Some say that its form is like a quiver of arrows. The meaning is that people should equip themselves with knowledge and devotion to God. By gaining knowledge, humans refine their thinking and create peace within themselves and spread it to their surroundings.

Knowledge and a sharp mind are basic requirements for people to live properly and prosperously. Thus, tamiang and endongan are made to remind people of the importance of critical thinking and gaining knowledge in their life.

This Kuningan, the Komaneka family of staff will pray with a priest no later than 12 o’clock noon. The process of making and hanging tamiang in the Komaneka resorts’ own temples is done on the previous day. Guests who want to try making tamiang can join the offerings-making class in the afternoon.

Will you join us?