Religious ritual holidays on Bali
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Original Belief

Among various ethnic in Indonesia there are many cultures which still continue their tradition from immemorial time. They preserve their culture although there have been influences coming such as Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, and Moslem. The most important element of this traditional culture is the believe of ancestor's spirits which spread widely within the whole area of Indonesia. It seems that the concept of worshiping the ancestors spirits is due to their love to parents and the predecessors who initiated their presence and culture.
A strong believe on ancestor's spirit holy soul is still exist in more developing parts of Indonesia such as Java and Bali, although other parts of Indonesia also showing strong practice of the same belief. In each area the practice of traditional and local beliefs creating many tribal feast which is in more or less same meaning, or their original meaning has been changed a little bit to the effort of preserving art heritages such as:

Bali Art Festival( PKB )

Place : Art Centre Open Stage, Denpasar city Province : BALI Date : June/July every year Purpose : Traditional Arts' Preservation
Last for 1 month full program every night. Fixed dates can only be known 6 months ahead. An art festival participated by every kind of art in Bali with it's 8 traditional areas typical in dances and musics. During this festival at least 60 performances will be on stage. Recent development has been marked with the participation of other provinces in Indonesia such as West Papua, East Java, and West Java, and abroad such as Japan, Australia, and Korea. Also the participation of other arts such as wood carvings, paintings, batiks, jewelries, and other handicrafts. The place is an open stage in Balinese traditional architecture, located in the center of Denpasar city. Beside the open stage there are also some buildings and galleries available for temporary and permanent exhibitions.

Galungan and Kuningan

Take place on all over Bali Province with less festive on north Bali, as the date is based on local calendar which comparable international date can not be fixed, can only be known on October for the following year. The purpose Galungan ceremony is one form of the respect of Balinese to their ancestors which is commemorated every 210 days. The concept of this ceremony is homage to the ancestors. For Balinese, we still maintain our spiritual relationship with our ancestors by organizing a ceremony to remember them in our life. During Galungan ceremony, we commemorate again as if they are still alive, that we welcome them by decorating our gates, houses, family temples, and put offerings on many places around our houses, temples, and certain places. In this occasion, among Balinese who has genealogical relation will put offering also at each of their family temple. By this way it is hoped that the relationship can be maintained within their lineage. This tradition is nothing to do with Indian influence, especially Hindu and Buddhist, but it is original tradition of Indonesia or Malay in general. When Hindu/Buddhist, Islam and Christian reached the archipelago this original tradition disappeared except in Bali and some areas now under Christian such as in North Sumatra, East Indonesia are still maintain this tradition, although look not noticeable.

The most important thing duringthis holiday is the festive veiws of Bali with colorful palm leaves decoration at the gates, cross roads,temples and at the village meeting halls. House wives make various type of cookings from snacks to main menus with more special manner, bussy to hold offering to various temples in the villages.
Kuningan is a kind of farewell day for our ancestors. After 10 days we invited them, and it is considered to reside again with their family, re-experiencing their ever leaving history, they leave the worldly family. During Kuningan ceremony, there is no activity of decorating the places, the decoration since 10 days is still used. The activity is also include arranging the offerings at the family temples, and places around the houses, but the situation is less festive than Galungan day. For Bali provincial area all government office closed for 3 days Most of big companies also closed on 3 days Balitouring office will open for all the dates for the in-house guest service that is handled by our Operation Department.

Saraswati Bali Version

Take place on all over Bali Province, also unfixed with international dates. Take place every 210 days, fixed date can only be known in nearer to the event.The 210 days year of Bali was started to be in use since 1098 AD when the influence of Hindu-Java is believed to arrive Bali with the marriage of Balinese king with Javanese princess. It is supposed that since the influence of Hindu Java tradition, the royal family and king writer ( Mid-Java word “ purohita” ) and religious unctionaries were the only people who were literate, and enjoy the education. Influenced also by Hindu tradition, that they might thanks to gods as they knew writing which was not for common people. To mark the blessing of gods they fixed a day to organize a ceremony and praying to the gods of their luckiness. Other thought that might had put the foundation of this ritual date is probably the influence of Tantrayana Buddhist teaching. Some of the teaching which have been written in lontar leaves are considered having magic power which can influence human body. Departing from this thought they arrange a special day to make a ceremony and implore of the well being and to be avoided by the evil spirits from this teaching. This is specially true because it is just recently most of the illiterate parents banned their children of reading writing material in Balinese characters nor tp place it below our body, or throw it away. Why this day is called Saraswati, considering this name is a mythic name of Brahma's uncompeted beautiful daughter. Some argued that everything related to the knowledge is as interesting as a beautiful woman. In the past it might that the thinkers had looked for a suitable symbol of this day, and had arrived at this choice. Almost like Galungan and Kuningan days the preponderant view in the villages are family temples with decorations, women with Balinese traditional dressing holding offering and walk on the village roads up to the remotest alleys and plantations. But the day is not as festive as Galungan and Kuningan. Currently Balinese consider that Saraswati day is a “Knowledge Day”

Kite Festival

Place: Denpasar Municipal and Badung Regency Province: BALI Date: July/August every year Purpose: Fun and Contest Fixed dates can only be known very close to the actual dates. In Bali we have 2 places of kite festival. One belong to Denpasar municipality which is organized on the beach of Sanur, and the other one belong to Kabupaten Badung Regency is organized in Nusa Dua. During the festival, although there is excitement everywhere, but it is often giving problem to the traffic, as most of the contestants transport big kites, some can reach the size of 3 sq. meters


Place Regency of Negara Province Bali Time Yearly Scheduled, Schedule is available on request Purpose Farmer Fun and Contest
Information: Negara Tourism Office 0365 41210 ex.224, Fax 0365 41010
Word “ Makepung” means “ compete for the fastest” a tradition born from the local farmers. Farmers of Bali always have cultivation tools which are specific Bali such as “ tengala “ a tool to put up-side down the surface of the land. It is dragged by 2 cows. A farmer in the rice field can finish around 1000 sq. meters land by using this plough. After all surface is up-side down than the surface is leveled with a tool called " Lampit " This tool is also dragged by 2 cows. After around one or 2 month left it is supposed that all natural wastes or the rests of grass, leaves and dust buried under the soil will dissolved, and those plantations which are not dissolved will be swept out by a tool called “ lampit “ so before planting the seeds the land become clean and soft. During the time of cultivating with lampit the farmer make fun by loading on the lampit himself and dragged by 2 cows. A tradition among the farmers, that they work in very close relation. They work together by finishing friend's land first thanhis, and then the other. So during working there are many farmers working together, and in this time they might a little bit encouraged to work faster and faster until the cows run. It was probably this is the beginning of this contest.Now the running contest on farming tools is organized in more premeditated way and have become fun for the whole society especially in Negara region.

Nyepi Silent Day

Take place all over Bali Province while other areas of Indonesia will also be celebrated in a slight different way. The exact date of thisevent can be known when Bali calendar has been printed.Comes every 365 days based on Caka Year calendar which calculation is the same as international calendar, but some detail calculation is different, so it is like 2 identique circles with different areal divisions.

“Nyepi” day in Brief “Nyepi” is Balinese common word derived from the root of “ sepi “ meaning quiet or silent. To form intransitive verb it got nasal sound [ N ] referring to the action of “ stay in quietness, as if it is no sounds is heard. The practice of this ritualistic event has got new meaning that is the celebration of New Year of Caka, the calendar which is still in use in Bali. The event can be seen in 3 consecutive activities or in 3 days.

  1. One day before Nyepi is called Ngerupuk. In the past, say before 1970s the event was consist of ritual at the gate of the village called pempatan ( Sanskrit Catus Patha, English the meeting of 4 parths ). After ritual men, especially children will fire bamboo canon to produce strong explosive sound, while mothers or girls took tools of clearing rice called Lu and Lesung to hit rhythmically until around 22.00 pm before sleeping. Since 1980s a new version has born such as the procession of fare tale creature made of woven bamboo, stereo foam, duvet and other materials to imitate witch or demon characteristics. Bamboo canon has changed with fire works. Shortly around 18.00 to 20.00 in the villages will be noisy some times with deftning sound. The hectic situation was at the beginning to remind every one of the event next day and expected no one would forget. But with no clear reason some people explain the moment lately as the effort to expel "Kala" who missunderstood Kala as bad spirit from its original concept of " time "
  2. On Nyepi Day is a practice of "3 NO" no sound, no fire, no travel continues until next morning around 06.00. So, here is a strange world without sound, dark, total quietness. All business activities are closed, local TV chanels, even international airport of Ngurah Rai is totally closed. Only international places such as hotel, and vital place such as hospital are open. Since 2000 there is no dispensation anymore to those who need to go to airport or to any other place with any reason except medical urgencies. In general during Nyepi every one must stay at home and personally practice the 3 NO, if found to offend a traditional saction will be given by the head of the village
  3. The day after Nyepi is called "Manis Nyepi". Discussion and messages for this day is visiting families, friends and other close relatives for refreshing relation, apology, and various personal relationship evaluation. But the fact as far as we know, only younger perons or school children that are roaming on the road fill the recreation places or natural tourist destinations. While older people immediatley working as normal day. But today it would be difficult to start immediatly for some types of works, because markets normally back to fully available 3 days after Nyepi.

Garis Bali

Bali Clothing
Bali Coffee
Bali Cuisines
Bali Traditional Healing
Bali Holiday
Banjar Settlement Unit
Flower for Rituals
Keris Traditional Weapon
Kulkul Traditional Bell
Subak Irigation
Tajen Gambling
Tirta Gangga Park
Traditional Market


Among various tour packages and tour options in Bali there are some tours which can be said always on the publications and interest a large part of travellers to Bali. Kintamani mountain tour sits at the first number as the most popular sightseeing tour, second is Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot tour, third is Uluwatu temple tour.