Some Important Bali Festivals
Bali is the Indonesian province where most of the country’s Hindu minority resides. Apart from the stunning landscapes, it is the festivals in Bali that make it memorable and special. The local people celebrate holidays related to the Balinese Religion through these festivals with the belief that life is only one part of the cycle of existence. Some of the festivals of Bali are listed below:
The Galungan Festival
This festival is celebrated as a mark of the victory of virtue over evil. Penjors, long bamboo poles decorated with coconut leaves, flowers and cakes, are kept in front of all houses. People do a lot of driving during the festival time as visiting all family temples is part of the celebration. Ten days after this festival, Kuningan is celebrated and it brings the New Year celebrations to a close. All the ceremonies held during this holiday season are for appeasing the ancestral spirits.
The Nyepi Festival
This is Icaka New Year festival celebrated by the locals. The Island observes total silence. No activities are allowed on this day and there will not be any traffic on the roads. Fires will not be lit and electricity will not be used except in hotels where tourists stay. Sacrificial rites are carried out a day prior to the Ogoh-Ogoh dance performance to end the night. Huge demon images are carried by the dancers around the villages. They believe that the evil spirits will leave Bali when they observe silence.
Life Cycle Ceremonies – Tooth-Filling And Marriage
This important and painfully ceremony Mapandes is conducted during adolescence, preferably before marriage. The sharp canine teeth are filed away during the ceremony. Balinese believe that this will help to remove human behavior like greed, lust, anger, jealousy, drunkenness, etc. Several young Balinese men and women undergo this ceremony.
Even now marriages are conducted early in life among the Balinese. Though the marriages are not arranged, their caste system does exert some influence on the selection of the right groom or bride. If the groom and the bride choose to celebrate the marriage in the presence of their parents and family members, then there will be grand ceremonies that cost a fortune.
Sometimes, the bride and the groom may elope. It is not real and is more of a show as the parents pretend as though they do not know. The bride and the groom who elope get married on the next day in a private ceremony.
Other festivals celebrated during the period July to October are:
Negara Bull Races
The bulls are decked up with accessories and hitched to makeshift chariots in pairs. Jockeys steer bulls and combine their tail twisting and riding skills to produce maximum performance.
Rice Harvest Festival
This is a festival that is dedicated to Dewi Sri, the rice god. The entire place is repainted and then decorated with flags. Small dolls made of straw representing the rice god are placed all over the village and fields as a tribute.
Indonesia’s Independence Day is celebrated on August 17 when they achieved freedom from Dutch rule.
Nusa Dua Festival
Travelers to Bali get to have a thorough understanding of the rich as well as vibrant local culture during the week-long Nusa Dua Festival.
Bali makes use of three calendars: the Saka, the Western, and the Wuku. Moreover, all Balinese ceremonies are generally held in the late afternoons or early evenings when the temperatures are lower.
Indonesia is a magical place that is definitely worth visiting. The culture, the amazing eco system, beautiful beaches and friendly people are just a small part of this country.Staying at luxury villas in Bali can also make your vacation dreamy and you can regale your body as well as your soul – it can be a real treat for all your senses. So next time when you are thinking about your travel destination, when you are craving for excitement and something completely different from your everyday routine, consider visiting Bali during some of it’s famous festivals. It will surely give you something to remember.