(English) Bali Events Calendar 2019

bali-events-calendar-2019

Photo by Horvath Mark on Unsplash

One of the best things about going on holiday in Bali is, you can find interesting events and ceremonies wherever you go. For the tourist, this is one of the highlights of their trip. The highlight that offers a unique insight into the local culture.

Religious ceremonies are based on the Balinese calendar which rotates every 210 days. Much time is spent to preparing offerings for all the various ceremonies that take place throughout the year.

On this page, you can find various events and ceremonies that will taking place each month in Bali. Hopefully, on or more events will be happening during your stay on the Island of Gods.

January

Kuningan Day - 5 January

kuningan-day

Kuningan Day is celebrated every 210 days, ten days after Galungan Day and it marks the end of Galungan festival. The Balinese believe that Kuningan day is the day when their ancestors return to heaven after visiting the earth during Galungan. They will make offerings from yellowed rice to be given to the ancestors on their farewell day.

The offering will placed in a small "bowl" made of coconut leaves. The yellow rice is the symbol of human's gratitude towards God for all the life, joy, wealth, health and prosperity. The bowls that decorated with a small figure of shadow puppets represents angels that bring joy and wealth to earth.

It is also said, the celebration should be done before noon, before gods and goddess return to the heavens to continue their asceticism.

Siwaratri Day - 5 January

yoga

Siwarâtri or Nigh of Shiva means a night of holy devotions or a night of smelting sin. During this day, Balinese Hindu will going to the temple for praying. They will also doing three kinds of brata which famous as "Brata Siwaratri".

Mekotekan (Mekotek Ritual) - 5 January

mekotek-ritual

Mekotek is a tradition from Munggu Village which is held every 6 months, 10 days after Galungan, at the feast of Kuningan day. The aim of this ritual is to asking for salvation. Mekotek is an ancestral heritage that was carried out from generation to generation.

This tradition is deployed with a wooden pulette stick that has been peeled and the length is about 2 - 3,5 meters. Before the ritual begins, the participants will perform prayers and thanks for the plantation results. After that, all the participants will be divided into groups of 50 people each and they will march to the water source in Munggu Village with the stick. Along the way, the wooden sticks that are carried will be pitted over the air forming a pyramid. The participants who have the guts will rise to the top of the group of wooden sticks and will give command to the group. The command given by the person at the top of the stick is crashing into a group of sticks belonging to another group.

Mekotek ritual is also accompanied by 'gamelan' to encourage the participants.

February

Chinese New Year - 5 February

imlek

Apart from the majority of Balinese Hindus, the Chinese New Year celebration in Bali is also celebrated royally. The Chinese New Year traditions in Bali even already melded with the Balinese culture. Many Balinese elements like penjor or canang which commonly used as a means to worship the gods for Hindus is also used by Chinese people in Bali. For them who are hereditary living in Bali, Balinese culture seems have attached to them.

Tumpek Klurut - 9 February

gamelan

Tumpek Krulut is a series of Tumpek Day which is celebrated every 6 months. On this day, the Balinese Hindu will hold a ceremony to worship the God in its manifestation as the Lord of Iswara for the creation of sacred voices in the form of percussion or 'gamelan'. The aim is that the gamelan has a beautiful sound or 'taksu', and can give a sense of beauty, balance, and harmony for anyone who heard it.

Valentine's Day - 14 February

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If you’re spending Valentine's Day in Bali this year, you are lucky! There are plenty of beautiful dining spots on the island. Whether you want to treat that special someone with a dinner by the sea with sunset view or maybe with an exquisite spa session, Bali has it all. Of course, also singles have been taken into account when planning Valentine’s Day activities on the island.

Bali's Biggest Clean Up - 16 February

bali-clean-up

2019 kicked off with the amazing news to start a NO to the plastic bag by the Bali's Governor. This will have a big impact on the plastic pollution in the near future. For now the work is not done yet. It is rainy season again and the Bali is covered with waste, every where. Time for third annual Bali’ Biggest Clean up.

This year, Bali's Biggest Clean up will clean up additional trash hotspots around the island, from our beaches to the mountains, through our rivers and jungles. We calling on all Bupatis & local government authority’s, schools, NGOs, local businesses, and hotels to organize or join clean-ups in their area.

If you interest to get involved in this event, you can sign up on here. In addition, some of places can be reached by Kura Kura Bus. So, save the date and join a clean up near you.

March

Melasti - 3 to 5 March

melasti-in-bali

Melasti is one of Hindu’ religious ritual which will be done 2 to 4 days before Nyepi. Balinese Hindu will be praying in the water resources such as rivers, beaches or lake which is symbolized as holy water (Tirta Amerta).

The purpose of the ritual is to cast away the negative energy In the nature and themselves, and also to purify all the religious tools or pratima. If you are in Bali 2 or 4 days before Nyepi, you will find the mass wearing the traditional custom and also bringing special umbrella which is called as 'Tedung' and they will heading to rivers, lakes or beaches.

Ogoh-Ogoh Parade (Pengrupukan) - 6 March

ogoh-ogoh-parade

Pengrupukan is a ceremony that aims to drive away Bhuta Kala or negative energy from the home, courtyyard and surroundings. This ritual is performed the day before Nyepi.

On the Pengrupukan, there will be 'ogoh-ogoh' parade which will be carried around the neighborhood. Balinese believe ogoh-ogoh is symbol of Butha Kala, so when they finished the convey, the ogoh-ogoh will be burned. Several shops, restaurants and streets will also be closed when the parade takes place.

Nyepi - 7 March

pecalang-nyepi-day

Nyepi or Silent Day is a Hindu New Year celebration based on Saka calendar. Unlike the other New Year, this new year is done with solitude for 24 hours from 06.00 am today until 06.00 am the next day. On this day everything will shut down, except for the hospital. You will not find any activity on the road, shops, restaurants, and also the airport. Balinese Hindus also will perform Catur Brata Penyepian to introspect theirself.

Bali Kissing Festival - 8 March

omed-omedan

The day after Nyepi is Ngembak Geni. One of the most unique traditions, Omed-Omedan or The Kissing Ritual, is a festival you won't miss in this day.

Located in Sesetan, Denpasar, this tradition involves 2 groups of young people who will go down the streets. The two groups will face each other on the village main road and with a signal from the elders, the two groups will come closer together and the leading participants from each group will hug each other and kiss. Each group will pull the two of them away while the villagers will also pour water on them.

Bali Spirit Festival - 24 to 31 March

bali-spirit-festival

The Bali Spirit Festival embodies the core mantra of Balinese Hinduism - Tri Hita Karana - to live in harmony with our spiritual, social, and natural environments.

Through the traditions of yoga, dance, healing and world music, the Bali Spirit Festival attracts over 5000 people from all over the world every year. The 7-day, 8-night Festival offers you a wide range of events to choose from between 8am – 11pm each day over 1 week, in 2019 from March 24 - 31, such as interactive workshops & seminars, a lively community market & healing center, a children’s activity zone, yoga classes and vibrant night time programs of live Bhakti music concerts, ecstatic dance and DJs, set among the picturesque rice-fields of Ubud, Bali.

April

Tumpek Wayang - 20 April

wayang

Tumpek Wayang is one of the holy days Tumpek in Bali which celebrated every 6 months or 210 days. On this day, Balinese Hindu especially the puppeteers (dalang) will make ceremonies relating to the arts, especially shadow puppets or also known as 'wayang kulit' by making offerings to the Lord of Weather (Batara Iswara). The puppeteers will take the wayang out from their case and will be placed in a position as if a shadow puppet show is being performed. The aim is when the puppeteers perform a wayang show, they are always protected and the show is fun to watch and interesting

Ubud Food Festival - 26 to 28 April

ubud-food-festival

Founded in 2015, the Ubud Food Festival Presented by ABC is three days of cross-cultural culinary discovery with Indonesian food as the star. In its five years it has grown into Indonesia’s leading culinary event. Showcasing the nation’s diverse cuisines, extraordinary local produce, and culinary heroes both emerging and established, UFF celebrates the archipelago’s rich culinary heritage and the exciting future of its food industry.

May

The Great 50 Show - 1 May to 25 August

circus-1

Oriental Circus Indonesia is coming to Bali this May and will presents its biggest show since it was established in 1967. The Great 50 Show packs the journey of a young man in reaching his dream with stunning acrobatics and evocative music and visual effects. For the first time combining classic circus with new technologies (drones, laser, video mapping) and a live band for the pleasure of the entire family. This show that is open to all ages is the right moment for you who want to create a new experience with your family.

This two-hour performance will spoil your heart at Bali's most popular place which is Jl. Sunset Road (10-minutes walking from Kura-Kura DFS Bus Bay), starts from May 1st, 2019 every Tuesday to Sunday at 04:00 - 06:00 pm and 07:00 - 09:00 pm. It is not only about the performance, but you will also be greeted by an array of food stall heaven by Eat & Eat, official merchandise shop, photo booth, and circus studio.

Ticket available here or you can on Traveloka with only IDR 250,000 until IDR 650,000

Ubud Royal Weekend - 2 to 5 May

ubud-royal-weekend

Introducing royalty’s cuisine, presenting traditional art and culture, and organizing tourism seminar, Ubud Royal Weekend may not be your usual event to go to during your holiday. However, with its sharing sessions, resourceful guest speakers, and entrepreneurship workshops, you will always learn something new. Along with creative product exhibitions, you’ll also support the empowerment and development of Gianyar’s community resources. Discover intelligent insights and new perspectives during the 5th Ubud Royal Weekend.

Global Indigenous Cultural Dinner & Fundraiser - 7 May

E-Banner

A rare opportunity to dine in an intimate setting with film directors and Indonesia's famed explorer of indigenous tribes - Lawrence Blair of "Ring of Fire"Tugu Hotel presents an exquisite 4-course meal Lucky Door Prizes.USD$20,000 worth of auction prizes including a Seven Seas Luxury Schooner trip to explore Flores and a WOW Borneo cruise on the beautiful Rungan River, Kalimantan.

Bali International Indigenous Film Festival 2019 - 10 to 12 May

Bali Indigeous Festival

There will be 25 filmmakers flying to Bali on May 10 for the largest and most culturally diverse gathering of Indigenous filmmakers in history. The 3-day event will attract over 900 people to the 2 venues–Njana Tilem Museum and Paradiso theater in Ubud (15-minutes walking from Puri Lukisan Museum Bus Stop).

This will be a powerful, inspirational and collaborative event where local Indonesian filmmakers will meet award-winning international film industry leaders who have dedicated their careers to supporting, protecting and empowering indigenous culture through film. Indigenous Taiwanese filmmakers will meet film industry leaders from the tribal lands of Quebec, Canada, and 13 other countries and you, the audience will have the opportunity to meet all 25 directors at the festival’s Grand Opening Night on May10, a fitting prelude to a wonderful weekend film marathon.

Ticket Available here

Saraswati Day - 11 May

saraswati-day

Balinese Hindu believes that Saraswati Day is the day that Sang Hyang Widhi blessed us with knowledge/wisdom with the purpose that mankind can conform him/herself to nature. The Saraswati Day celebrated by Balinese every 210 days and always befall on Saturday.

Saraswati manifested in the form of a beautiful goddess with white dress (as a symbol of wisdom, free from sins), with 4 arms carrying musical instrument (music is the object/result of senses), holy bible (bible as the manifestation of knowledge), lotus (representing the magnificence) and sit atop a swan (swan can distinguish food in the mud, to separate good amongst evil) which considered one of the holy animal.

Cultural Evening - 23 & 30 May

Web

Watch the remarkable performers in the majestic Bale Agung hall - an exhibition place of Indonesian history. Experience a night of genuine Indonesian art, soul, and romance.

In Hinduism, dance is an accompaniment to the perpetual dissolving and reforming of the world. There is a great richness of dance forms and styles in Bali and particularly notable are those ritualistic dance dramas which involve Rangda, the witch, and the great beast Barong.

Most of the dances in Bali are connected to Hindu rituals, such as the Sanghyang Dedari sacred dance than invoked Hyang spirits that believed to possess the dancers in a trance state during the performance. Other Balinese dances are not linked to religious rituals and created for certain purposes, such as Pendet welcoming dance and Joged dance that is a social dance for entertainment purpose.

Pagerwesi Day - 15 May

Pura Besakih - Kura Kura Guide

Pagerwesi Day is celebrated every 6 months (210 days). On this day, Balinese Hindu will worship Sanghyang Pramesti Guru, one of God's manifestations believed to be the teacher of the universe and mankind. Pagerwesi comes from the word Pager which means fence or protector and Wesi which means iron. Pagerwesi can be interpreted as a strong life grip like an iron fence that keeps the knowledge that has been used in the function of sanctity, can be maintained and always be a guideline for human life so as to avoid the darkness.

June

Cultural Evening - 6, 13, 20 & 27 June

Web

Watch the remarkable performers in the majestic Bale Agung hall - an exhibition place of Indonesian history. Experience a night of genuine Indonesian art, soul, and romance.

In Hinduism, dance is an accompaniment to the perpetual dissolving and reforming of the world. There is a great richness of dance forms and styles in Bali and particularly notable are those ritualistic dance dramas which involve Rangda, the witch, and the great beast Barong.

Most of the dances in Bali are connected to Hindu rituals, such as the Sanghyang Dedari sacred dance than invoked Hyang spirits that believed to possess the dancers in a trance state during the performance. Other Balinese dances are not linked to religious rituals and created for certain purposes, such as Pendet welcoming dance and Joged dance that is a social dance for entertainment purpose.

Tenganan Festival - 7 to 8 June

perang-pandan-tenganan

Tenganan Festival is an annual tradition in Tenganan Village. This festival is also known as 'Perang Pandan' or 'mekare-kare'.

On this festival, male villagers will perform "1 vs 1" duel rituals using rattan shields and a handful of prickly pandan leaves in the prepared arenas located in the center of the village. This ritual is dedicated to the god of war and the sky in Hinduism, Lord Indra.

In the arena, the brave men will alternately pair up to "fight" each other, and then "rub" each other's bodies with sharp spikes of pandan leaves. Surprisingly, each participant showed no pain. The wound is only treated with a herb, a mixture of turmeric and vinegar, and miraculous, those wounds will dry out in minutes.

In addition to the "war", you can enjoy delicious traditional pastries that are sold in village stalls. You also can do shopping handcrafts such as wood carvings, masks, or even buy traditional 'gringsing' cloth.

July

Bali Kites Festival - 3 to 5 July

bali-kite-festival

Bali Kites Festival is an annual international kites festival which will be held at Padang Galak beach, Sanur. Hundreds of giant traditional kites (about 4 meters wide and length about 10 meters) will be flown in the competitions between teams from each 'banjar' in Bali. Each team consists of about 70-80 people and own their 'gamelan', flag bearers, and flyers.

Bebean (fish-shaped kites), Janggan (bird-shaped kites with a long tail up to 100 meters), and Pecukan (leaf-shaped kites) are the three traditional kites flown during this festival. In addition to its unusual size, the traditional kite is also equipped with a vibratory sound instrument made from an 'ental' tree called 'guwang'. Guwang will produce a buzz voice that can be heard from a distance.

Galungan Day - 24 July

galungan

Galungan is the second-most important Balinese celebration after Nyepi and takes place every 210 days. The festival symbolizes the victory of good (Dharma) over evil (Adharma) and encourages the Balinese to show their gratitude to the creator and their ancestors.

During Galungan, Balinese Hindus usually busy making preparations for the ceremony. They will make cakes, creating 'penjor (a long curved bamboo pole which is decorated with fruit, coconut leaves, and flowers), decorating the temple, and other preparations. There will also be many ceremonies taking place so it's a wonderful time to be visiting to experience the local culture.

August

Buleleng Festival - 2 to 6 August

Buleleng Festival 2019

Buleleng Festival has become an annual event on tourism national agenda and always promoted in Wonderful Indonesia. Centered at the Singa Ambara Raja Monument, Puri Kanginan, and Sasana Budaya Cultural Center, in Buleleng Regency. The event presents the region’s music performances, art, and show of the locals Buleleng city. You’ll find a lot of exhibitions of traditional culinary, art and culture performance, as well as fashion show.

Kuningan Day - 3 August

pray to temple

Kuningan Day also falls on August 2019 . On this day, there will be a ceremonies like the previous Kuningan Day. Also, don't forget to watch the Mekotekan ritual if you miss it in January.

Ubud Village Jazz Festival - 16 to 17 August

ubud-village-jazz-festival

Ubud Village Jazz Festival is a music festival situated in the artistic surroundings of Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. Since 2010 Yuri Mahatma, a musician, a composer and a music teacher, and a founder of Underground Jazz Movement together with Anom Darsana, the director and owner of ANTIDA Music Productions, had worked together for some routine projects of jazz concerts, each time with different theme.

UVJF is an annual international jazz festival and empowered by communities. Since 2013, UVJF putting a smile on the faces of 5,000 people, irrespective of age, ability, creed or wealth.

Indonesia Independence Day - 17 August

Indonesia-independence-day-indonesia-merrdeka

August is a special month for the Indonesian. In this month the Indonesian will celebrate their independence from the Dutch colonialists precisely on August 17th. Every year on this month will be filled with celebrations and interesting events that you can find in every corner of the island.

From the first day of the month, you probably notice the red and white flags or ornaments displayed and installed everywhere. Students till government employees also begun to prepare themselves to carry out the flag ceremony when the day of independence comes. Traffic will begin to be diverted because part of the road will be closed to be used as traditional events such as 'panjat pinang', cracker eating competition, sack running, and many more!

Sometimes there will also an events or invitations for social work (social services) such as cleaning the environment, visiting an orphanage, or helping disadvantaged people. This is a great way to help your community and show the civic pride.

Sanur Village Festival - 21 to 25 August

Sanur-Village-Festival

The Sanur Village Festival is a yearly event that is held in the coastal village of Sanur. The first festival was held in 2006. The festival has a different theme every year with its message "The New Spirit of Heritage".

In its 14th year, Sanur Village Festival will feature the theme Dharmaning Gesing – the glorifying of bamboo, which reflects the Balinese appreciation on bamboo’s role in the daily life. It is used in religious ceremonies and an important element in building architecture, so the festival explores bamboo as part of Sanur community’s spirit of creativity. The awareness of its existence is hoped to encourage togetherness and sense of family, respect and protecting the environment and inspire the community creativity.

The Sanur Village Festival will host many programs that you can choose to take part. You also can enjoy the atmosphere of beauty and friendliness of the people of Sanur.

September

Maybank Bali Marathon - 8 September

Maybank-Bali-Marathon

Maybank Bali Marathon (MBM) is an annual road race event held in Bali, with 2019 marking its 8th edition. The race features a combination of flat roads across rolling hills. Runners will experience the Balinese landscape along with traditional art performances by its most hospitable inhabitants along the course.

For more information please check here

Balinale - 24 to 29 September

balinale-festival-bali

Balinale International Film Festival is an international film festival in Bali. More than 100 movies from 30 countries will take part in this event. The films aired on Balinale are short films, documentaries and independent story films that will open up the mind of anyone who watches them. In addition, the festival also offers the Indonesian culture and location for international directors as a place for their film.

Lovina Beach Festival - 25 to 28 September

lovina-beach-festival

Lovina Beach Festival is an annual festival which will take place on the black beaches near the villages of Kalibukbuk and Kaliasem. The villages itself is a quite and less visited area in the north part of Bali.

Lovina Beach Festival will last for 3 days. Various activities will be held at this festival such as handicraft exhibitions, buffalo race competitions, 'mekorot' festival, music entertainment, spinning top and cultural performance.

October

Bali Vegan Festival - October (tentative)

bali-vegan-festival

The Bali Vegan Festival is an annual three-day festival. The festival is open to everyone. This vegan marketplace will be a meeting place for participants to discuss ideas, challenge, and support one another. The festival tickets, which gives access to all other venues will be discounted for locals.

With interactive workshops, live music, yoga, ecstatic dance and more, participants will have the chance to network, brainstorm, and design together a more empathic world, a path no one should walk alone.

Ubud Writers & Readers Festival - 23 to 27 October

ubud-writers-and-festival

Over five full days, leading writers, thinkers, artists and performers from across Indonesia and all over the world will gather to celebrate knowledge and the arts, education, wisdom and science.

The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival will include arts and music, panel discussions, workshops, literary lunches and dinners, book launches and more.

November

Makepung Buffalo Races - November (tentative)

makepung-buffalo-race-jembrana-bali

Makepung Buffalo Races were traditionally held to mark the end of the rice harvest, and attract crowds of cheering locals. The betting can also get quite frantic!

Only the best looking water buffaloes are chosen to compete. The teams will divide into two sides, the eastern division and the western division. Before the races, the bulls' horns are painted and brightly colored garlands are placed around their necks.

Buffalo races are held every Sunday from July to November. Since this is the last race of the year, it's a unique event not to be missed.

December

Pemuteran Bay Festival - December (tentative)

pemuteran-bay-festival

Last year, Pemuteran Bay Festival held on December 12-15, 2018 in Pemuteran Village, a small laid-back village in North Bali. The village has become increasingly popular with visitors in recent years. Last year’s festival titled “ Spirits of Rwa Bhineda” was a success since it brings a positive outcome for the tourism in the area. This year, the fest.

Christmas - 25 December

christmas-traditions-in-bali

Balinese people also excited to embrace the Christmas. As you know, Balinese people also respect other religions and celebrations. You will find Christmas decorations in everywhere when you are in Bali. What a good thing on Christmas is "A Huge Range of Special Offers" offered by hotels, restaurants or even shopping malls. So when you are in Bali you can enjoy your holiday with those great deals.

New Year's Eve - 31 December

new-year

New Year's Eve is one of the biggest celebrations in the entire world as well as in Bali. Balinese people are also excited waiting to embrace the New Year come. They will prepare all the things from music, families’ party, and fireworks.

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