Bali Events and Festivals

(Bali, Indonesia)




Picture of seasonal island celebrationBali has much to celebrate and most months of the year have something of interest happening, with various seasonal things to do and tourist-friendly events taking place, often within the countless temples. March is one of the most important festival months on Bali, with the exciting Melasti and Nyepi religious festivals taking place and always being the cause for much celebration.

Other popular events include the Bali Arts Festival, which kicks off in June for a month and showcases the island's cultural appeal. Independence Day takes place each year on August 17th and its colourful processions are watched by crowds of onlookers.


Bali Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015



January


  • New Year's Day - January 1st, the celebrations of the previous night continue into the day, although things become more sedate by midday
  • Pager Wesi - celebrates Sang Yang (the creator of the universe) with grand ceremonies island-wide

February


  • Kuningan Ceremony - in early February, spanning ten days and signifying the end of the new year holiday. Yellow rice is offered and temples are beautified to bade farewell to the gods

March


  • Melasti - precedes Nyepi and is the loud part of the two-day event, where well-dressed villagers offer flowers and fruit and holy men sacrifice pigs
  • Nyepi - the quiet day after Melasti welcomes the beginning of the lunar year with a silent vigil to fool the spirits. Bali's airport is closed on Nyepi
  • Galungan - the Balinese gods descend to earth during Galungan, a major festival of the Pawukon calendar each March, celebrating the good Dharma over the evil Adharma

April


  • Kartini Day - mid-April, women don traditional attire to commemorate the birth of the founder of the Balinese women's rights movement, Raden Ajeng Kartini

May


  • National Awakening Day - May 20th, 'Hari Kebangkitan Nasional' is a public holiday in Indonesia to mark the principles of Indonesian state philosophy. Government offices and schools host this event

June


  • Bali Arts Festival - runs between June and July and celebrates the arts and culture of Bali
  • Kite Festival - a fun event seeing lots of kite flying throughout the day, and a real boon for tourists who want to get a unique glimpse of another side of Bali

July


  • Negara Bull Races - bulls are washed and decorated with garlands, coupled to chariots and then raced in an enthralling event. The bull races are staged between July and October

August


  • Independence Day - August 17th sees Bali adorned with national flags, along with the rest of the country, and feature processions, traditional music and dancing
  • Nusa Dua Festival - a week-long event in Bali's popular Nusa Dua resort is a must-see, featuring many Balinese treats including singing, dancing and eating

September


  • Temple Celebrations - all prominent temples in Bali feature celebrations throughout September, including at Kuta, Sanur, Ubud and Denpasar

October


  • Ubud Writers and Readers Festival - goes off for five days every year in October and sees dozens of writers from several countries gather, culminating in one of the best events of its type in the country

November


  • Bali International Jazz Festival - a major event on the island, and in Indonesia as a whole, with performers from all over the world playing out to crowds over a period of three days

December


  • Christmas Day - December 25th as with elsewhere in Asia, Christmas is celebrated by Bali's Christian faithful and tourists get particularly jovial at resort bars and restaurants
  • New Year's Eve - December 31st sees dinners, dancing, partying, a traditional countdown and lots of fireworks in the bigger resorts







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