A visit to Bali during their many festivals makes for an unforgettable experience. The explosion of colour paired with culture and art create a scene that is hard to recapture elsewhere. Bali festivals aren’t just religious. They are fun filled and extravagant and can bring the entire place alive. Here’s a list of some Bali festivals and ceremonies that you can observe and enjoy when you travel to Bali.
Celebrated during the months of June and July, the Bali Arts Festival showcases dance, drama and art from all 8 regencies. The festival also features participants from other islands in Indonesia. The opening parade is glorious and is held in front of the Puputan Renon Square. The Bali Arts Festival is a beautiful platform for performing arts. The Taman Werdhi Budaya Arts Centre in Denpasar is where most of the daily exhibitions and art performances are held. If you happen to be here in July, then don’t miss this amazing Bali festival.
The Bali Kites festival takes place during the windy season in the months of July and August. The sky during this time is often papered with colourful kites and all necks are stretched upwards as people are busy making sure their kites are flying properly. Most of the festivities are concentrated along the eastern coast of Padanggalak which is north of Sanur.
Nyepi is also known as the ‘day of silence’. While this is not a visitor friendly festival, as everyone stays off the streets and roads and people are expected to stay in their hotels or homes, there’s an amazing spectacle to be seen on the eve of the festival. A parade of papier mâché ghosts is taken out which is the unique feature of this Balinese festival. The ghosts represent negative energy which are driven away as part of the parade.
Galungan and Kuningan are complementary festivals that take place across the island twice a year, once in May and then once in December. Galungan celebrates the defeat of Adharma at the hands of Dharma and bamboo poles with coconut leaf decorations can be seen all over when you travel to Bali. The bamboo poles are intricately decorated and might contain harvest items such as fruits, rice and coconut etc. Every household gate sports these which makes for an amazing view. People visit the temples dressed in traditional clothes. The main day of Galungan is like a new year for the Balinese. Kuningan takes place ten days later and marks the end of the festival.
Bali’s rich culture and traditions come to the fore during their festivals and if you’re lucky enough to be in the island during one, you will be amazed at the visual treat. Do remember to check the SOTC website for offers and deals before you book your Bali trip.