The cultural tourist will have multiple memory making experiences here, especially if visiting during one of the many festivals, fairs and events.
Bali has much to celebrate and most months of the year have something of interest happening, with tourist-friendly events taking place across the island. If you see a procession of women garbed in traditional wear, carrying small bowls or balancing towering offerings on their heads, or a group of batik-clad men with head cloths, just put on a shirt, grab your camera and mingle with the crowd – you will always be welcomed.
Some festivals and events are dedicated to the art of woodcarving, the birth of a goddess, and percussion instruments. Other celebrations include temple festivals, fasting & retreat ceremonies, parades to the sea to cleanse villages and harvest festivals – to name just a few.
Bali’s major ceremonies include:
Galungan is celebrated every 210 days, according to the Pawukon calendar. It is believed that on this day the ancestors begin to descend to earth to visit the family temples and must be entertained and taken care of.
On the day of Galungan, you will be able to see barong dances in the street – you can hear them by the sounds of loud clashing cymbals.
Nyepi is the Balinese New Year that takes place every new Saka year. It falls on the day following the dark moon of the spring equinox.
On the eve, Ngerepuk ceremonies take place all over the island in preparation for the following day. You will see groups of people sitting together in the middle the main crossroads of the village as these are seen as meeting places of spirits, praying with priests and making offerings.
On Nyepi itself there is silence on the island. Everyone follows the restrictions imposed – no fire, no cooking , no work, no travel, no leisure. The idea behind the day of silence is that any spirits that come down to cause trouble will think that Bali is uninhabited and therefore there is no point in staying here.