The start of a new year is an exciting time, filled with the potential for new experiences and adventures. If Bali is on your list of destinations for the year, we recommend immersing yourself in the local culture by participating in one of the amazing festivals, traditions, arts, and celebrations that the island has to offer. To help you plan your trip, we have compiled a list of 10 cultural experiences in Bali that you won't want to miss. From traditional festivals to art and celebrations, these experiences offer a unique opportunity to learn more about the rich history and culture of Bali.
Still with the Nyepi atmosphere, there is a unique cultural rite that you can witness afterwards! Omed-omedan or foreigners often call it kissing ritual! Morning after the Nyepi, young men in Sesetan, Badung, gathered in the designated area, they formed 2 groups (male and female) while facing each other. At the given signal they will approach to the center and male participants will kiss the female while the other residents will pour them over with a bucket of water. Don’t miss it guys!
Event Dates : 8 March 2020, 26 March 2020
2 Nyepi And Ogoh Ogoh Festivals
Have you ever been tired of the hubbub of recent days? If you want to feel a totally different atmosphere, come to Bali in the near future! Bali will soon welcome Nyepi, the Silence Day; the day where we can breathe freely without traffic jams, dust, pollution and their friends. The day when the sky is blue, and we can enjoy the most beautiful sunset and the star-studded night sky. The day before, you could also watch the ogoh-ogoh cultural parade. Ogoh-ogoh is like a giant doll, usually made scary because it symbolizes negative energies, and will be paraded around the village before finally being burned. Make sure to be careful when you watch it because it can be a little chaotic sometimes. Interesting, isn’t it?
As you plan for a Nyepi Experience in Bali, try to see our Nyepi Package Deals here!
Ogoh-Ogoh Festival : 24 March 2020 18:00PM onward
Nyepi or Silence Day : 25 March 2020 06:00AM - 26 March 2020 06:00AM
3 Galungan And Kuningan
This is what is waiting for by all Balinese. Even though it comes every 6 months (in the calculation of the Balinese calendar), but every Galungan and Kuningan holiday has its own story. The glory of the island in Galungan and Kuningan indeed take attention, starting from decorative ornaments in every temple and house, special dishes such as satay and lawar, to Balinese people passing by to go praying on the D-Day. Everything looks so charming in its own way. So, be part of this happy day!
Event Dates : Galungan 19 February 2020 and 16 September 2020
Kuningan 29 February 2020 and 26 September 2020
4 Tumpek Kandang
Besides Galungan and Kuningan, there are also rituals that come every 6 months based on Bali Calendar. One of them is Tumpek Kandang. This celebration is like a birthday for animals in general. Usually, Balinese who have pets will make offerings so that their pets are healthy. It’s also a way of devotion to God and preserves good relationship with other living beings. Unique? That day if you visit a zoo in Bali, maybe you will find something interesting!
Event Dates : 9 March 2020
5 Bali Spirit Festivals
This festival lasts for a week long with a series of activities that you can follow, from yoga, dance, meditation, to seminars. There are also exhibitions that display food, clothing and handcraft. Additionally, you can enjoy spiritual music performances both day and night. Save the date!
Event Dates : 29 March - 5 April, 2020
6 Ubud Food Festivals
This three-day event is when all best culinary icons, especially Indonesian food gathers and served on plates. It calls everyone who loves the adventure of taste to come around and witness the beauty of diversity through foods. In its fifth year, this culinary event takes the theme “Spice Up the World” to showcasing culinary innovation from around the world, together with Indonesian chefs, restaurateurs, producers and food professionals.
Event Dates : 17 - 19 April 2020
7 Perang Pandan
Among this year's festival is also the Perang Pandan; a rite where man fight using the elongated and spiny pandan leaves. The people in Tenganan Pegringsingan believe that this ancient ritual of Perang Pandan will bring prosperity to the village. In the process, male participants will fight using a bundle of pandan leaves and rattan shields. If you think that they won't get hurt, that's not true. Of course they are injured, but they will treat their wounds together, without anger or will to revenge. It‘s so exciting, see it by yourself!
Event Dates : First week of June 2020
8 Bali Arts Festivals
As you know, Bali government is very active in preserving the culture of Bali! One of them is by holding Bali Art Festivals annually. Every year, each district in Bali will send representatives to demonstrate the unique culture in their respective areas. The festival let you see numerous cultural display, starting from dance performances, traditional clothing to localy made handcrafts in Bali. Overall, you can find lots of interesting things about Bali in this festival! Check them out!
Event Dates : 13 June - 11 July 2020
9 Makepung Buffalo Races
Love to see a race? Try watching this race one! This race involves buffaloes and farmers. They will compete for 2 km for pride and honor, not for money. This unique tradition is greatly enjoyed in the Jembrana Area. Save the date!
Event Dates : 12 July 2020
10 Bali Kites Festivals
If you are a kite lover, don't miss the Bali Kite Festival. There you can find various forms of kites, there are many giant ones, even had to use the help of dozens of people to lift it up. But it’s true that the satisfaction arise when seeing the giant airing beautifully.
Event Dates : 15 - 18 August 2020