Siwa Ratri, also known as the Night of Siwa, is a key part of Bali’s event calendar. The popular event is dedicated to the god known as Siwa. Siwa is known to devout Balinese as the destroyer. According to religious tales passed down through the generations, it is believed that on this day that Siwa intervened for the world in order to maintain peace.
Tumpek Uduh, also referred to as Tumpek Pengatag or Tumpek Wariga, is an event dedicated to Sanghyang Sangkara, the god of food on Bali Island. This event is held 25 days prior to Galungan, a significant festival held once after every 210 days. On this day, offerings are made to this god in order to invoke blessings on the land.
Galungan is a Balinese holiday which celebrates the victory of dharma over adharma (the triumph of good over evil). It marks the time when ancestral spirits of deceased relatives visit the Earth. The last day of the celebration is Kuningan, when they leave earth. The most obvious sign of the celebrations are penjors decorated lining the streets all over Bali.
The Mekotekan Rituals are part of the traditional Kuningan Festival that is celebrated to battle evil spirits that are said to attack Munggu Village. The Kuningan Festival is held every six months according to the traditional Balinese calendar. The festival’s rituals are diverse but aim at purifying the locals and the village.
Nyepi is a Balinese “Day of Silence” that is commemorated every Isakawarsa (Saka new year) according to the Balinese calendar (in 2020, it falls on March 25). It is a Hindu celebration mainly celebrated in Bali, Indonesia. Nyepi, a public holiday in Indonesia, is a day of silence, fasting and meditation for the Balinese.
Omed Omedan is one of Bali’s most exciting events where thousands of unmarried youth come together for a mass kissing festival. For about 100 years, unmarried men and women aged between 17 to 30 have participated in this unique tradition which is held is held the day after the spiritual holiday of Nyepi.
The week-long festival takes many forms, from yoga, meditation, dance, martial arts and healing workshops and seminars; to full-day fairs and markets selling handicrafts, vegan food, clothing and gifts. A huge line up of world and spiritual music will hit both daytime and night concerts. Find their schedules, line-up and more information on their website.
Tumpek Krulut, also known as Compassion Day, is an event that is celebrated after every 210 days on the island. The event’s name says it all. As a day when locals express their gratitude for life and life’s blessings, it is easy to understand why this day is considered to be a very sacred day for the Balinese.
Purnama Kedasa is a Balinese celebration which is held following the appearance of the full moon. It is an elaborate affair for the locals with thousands coming outside to pay their respects. The appearance of the full moon marks a special day for various traditional festivities. This is evident with the resplendent ceremonies at the island.
The Ubud Food Festival is a three-day event that will tantalise your taste buds with a huge variety of Balinese and international cuisines. Ubud is regarded as the cultural heartbeat of Bali and is a prime destination for local and foreign tourists. This means that it is the perfect location for this festival as it draws thousands of visitors each year.
Kartini Day is an Indonesian holiday celebrated in memory of Ajeng Kartini’s birth, a national heroine honoured for her efforts in fighting for women’s rights. Raden Ajeng Kartini was born on the 21st of April 1879 and is one of the country’s most recognisable faces.
Tumpek Kandang is a prominent day of celebration for Balinese locals as this is the time when locals show their gratitude for domestic animals. Traditionally, Balinese locals used an array of domestic animals to help them get on with their daily activities. Some of these animals included bulls, cows, ducks, pigs as well as goats.
Berawa Beach Arts Festival is known for its efforts to break the Indonesian Museum of Record (MURI) by holding a colossal Kecak (performed by thousands of dancers) in 2018, and the biggest stage ever constructed on a beach festival last year. At the festival you can expect to see music and cultural performances and much more.
Idul Fitri Festival is a popular religious holiday in Bali. It is a unique holiday because its annual dates are determined by the Islamic Calendar. Idul Fitri marks the end of fasting in the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims across the world. The fasting which spans about 30 days, comes to an end following the sighting of the moon on the island.
Tumpek Wayang is a traditional Balinese holiday and sacred festival of Hindus on the island which is celebrated every 6 months. This festival brings together puppeteers who perform purification rites (ruwatan) to purify their bodies both physically and mentally.
The Bali Arts Festival brings the island’s cultural scene to life for a whole month of daily exhibitions, performances and an array of art-related activities. The festival is held to celebrate arts in Bali, as well as bring together art lovers from across the country and beyond.
Perang Pandan at Tenganan village, East Bali, is an age-old tradition unique only to this well-preserved old Balinese village in the Karangasem regency. Also referred to locally as mekare-kare and megeret pandan, Perang Pandan is a mass coming-of-age ritual, dedicated to the Hindu god of war and the sky, Indra.
Banyu Pinaruh is one of the key events held during Saraswati celebrations in Bali. The event is celebrated every 210 days in accordance with the Balinese Calendar. At the core of this event is the celebration of the virtue of knowledge and the role it plays in the present day world.
Pagerwesi is a Balinese ceremony celebrated every 210 days according to the traditional Balinese calendar, just three days after the Saraswati festivities. The name of this ceremony is obtained from two local words: pager and wesi. Pager is a local word that translates to ‘fence’, while wesi means ‘iron’.
Bull racing is an age-old tradition across generations in Bali and the Makepung Bullock Races (aka Negara Bull Races) is one of the most popular bull races on the island. The name of this bullock race is derived from the local Balinese word, ‘kepung’ which translates to ‘chasing’.
Tumpek Landep is a Balinese festival that is held to celebrate divine inspiration as a way to honour the god of taksu. The name is derived from two words: tumpek and landep. Tumpek translates to ‘nearby’ in the local dialect, while the latter means ‘sharp’. This manifests itself in the festival where offerings are made for objects that are made of metal.
Saraswati Day is held in honour of Saraswati who is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning. Saraswati is said to help the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva to create, maintain and regenerate the universe. The name Saraswati is obtained from two local Balinese words: sara and swaandthi, mean ‘the one who has all knowledge”.
Tanah Lot Arts Festival runs for 3 days showcasing numerous cultural Tabanan heritage. The event will showcase an opening performance of Rejang Sandat Ratu Segara sacred dance featuring 1800 dancers. Ratu Segara is the mythical queen of the southern sea. It previously had set an Indonesian Museum of Records for such a colossal show.
The Bali International Choir Festival brings together the best of choir performances on the island concerts and workshops for choir lovers. The aim of the festival is to allow singers and conductors to gain experience, to build their skills and knowledge in workshops, formal rehearsal spaces and concert settings.
The Bali Kite Festival is an annual festival held on the island from July to October. The event highlights Bali’s unique culture, drawing thousands of visitors each year. The timing of the kite festival in July and August is key, as this marks the start of the windy season in Bali.
The Ubud Village Jazz Festival is a huge community concert held over two days in Ubud, the cultural capital of Bali. The festival traces its humble beginnings to 2013 following the gathering of artists in an intimate gathering. The very first event featured 20 performances on three platforms over a period of 2 days, bringing together 100 musicians.
Indonesian Independence Day is a public holiday in Indonesia which is celebrated on the 17th of August each year and marks Indonesia’s Independence Day. This national holiday is celebrated in Bali with various festivities including parades, community events and cultural and art exhibitions.
The Sanur Village Festival is a yearly event held in the coastal village of Sanur. It is a festival that celebrates arts, great food, culture and the environment. The festival has different themes each year and draws thousands of international tourists to its shores with its message: “The New Spirit of Heritage”.
Balinale is a film festival held in Bali each year and brings together local and international film industry players as well as film lovers everywhere. Balinale offers local filmmakers the chance to showcase their work to a wider international audience as well as allowing international filmmakers to display their work in a unique location.
The festival, taking place on the popular area of Petitenget, will showcase music performances, traditional human puppets, yoga sessions, and traditional dance performances.
Held in Kalibukbuk and Kaliasem villages, Lovina Festival reflects the beauty of Lovina Beach with its sparkling black sand and breathtaking sunset. During the festival you can enjoy collaborative music performances, Bungbung traditional dance, puppet shows, cultural parade around the villages in Lovina, and even party at Kaliasem Beach.
A unique festivity, Ketipat War is an annual event that was first held in 1337 by the villagers of Kapal village in Mengwi. Ketipat is a typical Indonesian rice cake wrapped in coconut leaves, and during this event the villagers throw the Ketipat at each other.
The Nusa Dua Fiesta is an event that effortlessly fuses music, culture, arts and sports to create an amazing experience for all visitors. You will find art exhibitions, cultural performances and sporting events held over a number of days down on the southern part of the island at Nusa Dua.
Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is an event held in the central Bali town of Ubud that celebrates all things about literature, reading, writing, film and culture. The festival is the brainchild of Janet De Neefe, an Australian-born woman who envisioned a literary space where talented artists could express themselves.
The 10th Bali International Triathlon will be held again in 2020 at Sanur Beach and the surrounding area. The event gets larger every year, so those wanting to participate are advised to register early to avoid disappointment. This triathlon is one of the showcases on Bali’s sporting calendar and will travel through some of the less populated areas in Bali.
A festivity taking place at one of Bali’s most serene villages, Penglipuran Village Festival is a celebration of Balinese arts through cultural parades, traditional dance competitions, traditional cooking competitions, and many more.
The festival will showcase performances by the art community of Kutuh village, where Pandawa Beach is located. Food bazaar and live music performances will also take place during the festival, providing an alternative for those looking to spend the last days of 2020 on the beach.