Bali Lost Adventure gives you a nice non-exhaustive list of events taking place in Bali in 2019. Bali has many temples and diverse traditions happening every day. You will surely have the chance to observe during your stay our rituals or cultural events. This list is just a glimpse of everything happening in Bali.
WHAT IS AN ODALAN / PIODALAN? Bali is known as an island with tens of thousands of temples so it is easy to find a temple ceremony anywhere and anytime. One of these ceremonies is called odalan which is a celebration of the day the temple was built and varies for each temple. The odalan date is calculated according to the Pawukon calendar (every 210 days). Bali has many temples, so it’s no wonder you find this kind of odalan ceremony during your visit to Bali. Some odalan ceremonies are short and last only 1 to 3 days, while others can last up to a month. Once the main religious ceremony is over the odalan becomes more of a social occasion with dances, gamelans, puppets etc. In the following list you will find some odalan dates of main temples in Bali.
TO KNOW That during new moons and during full moons the Balinese go to the temple. On a new moon we pray to the sun god, it is believed to be a special day to purify and remove the impurities that are in every human being while on a full moon we pray to the god of the moon for he gives us for the occasion its blessing and its magic also by offering its light thus reminding us of our own inner light. Full moon days are auspicious days when, for example, many odalans (temples birthdays) take place etc. It’s also considered a good day to plant, giving you plenty of chances for good harvests to come.
Dates : 5 January 2019 & 3 August 2019
The one of the most holiest days on the small tropical island. This day is the tenth days of Galungan, Balinese called it Kuningan. Kuningan derives from word ‘kuning’ that means Yellow in English, that represented yellowed rice. In this day, Balinese made special offerings with yellowed rice for to the ancestor farewell in the last day of Galungan. In this day Balinese believe that the ancestor return to their realm after visiting earth for celebrating Galungan. The offerings with yellow riced has has a symbol of humanity’s gratitude to the Gods for all life, happiness, wealth, health and prosperity he gave. And also, they decorated the offerings with small shadow’s puppet that represented the angel who gave the joy and wealth to the earth.
Tanah Lot Piodalan
Dates : 12 January 2019 and 7 August 2019
Tanah Lot is the one famous place in Bali cause it is an important landmark in Bali. Tanah Lot Piodalan can be meaning anniversary of Tanah Lot temple. Piodalan is ceremony to give an honor to the cration of the universe Ida Sang Hyang Widi. In this day you will see many Balinese comes to Tanah lot with traditional outfit bring many offerings.
Uluwatu Temple Piodalan
Dates : 15 – 18 January 2019
Uluwatu temple is Balinese Hindu sea temple located in south Kuta, Badung. It is the one of the nine directional temple of Bali mean to protect it from evil. It’s situated in clifftop make incredible sunset there. This day the temple is most decorated cause it is the day of one Bali’s famous sea temple, Uluwatu anniversary. Balinese will pray to protect this temple from the bad thing.
Dates : 9 February 2019 – 7 September 2019
Another day of Tumpek. We could called it Balinese Valentine day. But, not like valentine that we always celebrate. This day Balinese will blessing the Gamelan (traditional musical instrument). Why? because Balinese think that human life’s is like Gamelan in a stage. We have our roles to complete each other. But, Tumpek Krulut is not only for Gamelan, but also for all music instrument.
Melasti Purification Ceremony
Date : 4 March 2019
Melasti ceremony is purification ritual before the silent day of Bali (Nyepi). They held this ritual in the sea. This ritual has an aim to erase all the bad thing and bad karma from human and then they throw it to the ocean. Balinese Hindu believe that sea or ocean is considered as the source of life. Melasti ceremony not only for human purification, it purify the sacred thing from temple too.
Ogoh – Ogoh parade
Date : 6 March 2019
One day before the Balinese celebrate Nyepi, they celebrate Ngrupuk Parade, or Balinese also called it Ogoh – ogoh. Ogoh ogoh is giant puppets festival made in form of Bhuta Kala the evil spirit, Bhuta Kala is a creature who like disturb human life. This festival/parade is a huge in around Bali because almost every Banjar (small communities in village) celebrate it.
Date : 7 March 2019
Nyepi is the day of silent in Bali. Everyone who stayed in Bali should be at home all of day. This day represented the Saka new years too. For Balinese hindu, this day they use to fasting and doing meditation. Nyepi has signification to keep balance of nature.
Omed – Omedan
Date : 8 March 2019
The kissing festival in Bali. It’s quite interesting is it? A crowd of single guys and girl around 17 – 30 years old kissing in the street. Omed omedan taking a place after the day of Saka new year or Nyepi day. During the kisiing there is somebody else will pour water on them. The pouring water is quite important,it believed that will cool the heat and tension down between the kissers. This ritual helps many people to start dating, you want to try?
Dates : 16 March 2019 & 12 October 2019
Tumpek Kandang ceremony is dedicated for the animal, live stock and pets. Kandang is cage in English. But, this ritual not an worship rituals, Balinese consider animal is a friend that created by God as a living creature. Tumpek Kandang has deeply meaning to reminds people to keep in touch with nature.
Dates : 20 April 2019 & 16 November 2019
Tumpek wayang is the one part of the series of Tumpek days. Tumpek wayang also known by ‘the day of arts’. This day Balinese dedicated their blessing towards to traditional tools like Gong, Puppet shadow (wayang) etc.
Dates : 11 May 2019 & 7 December 2019
Saraswati day also known by ‘the day of knowledge’. Balinese believe that knowledge is given by God through the beautiful Goddess named Saraswati. This day Balinese will make some offering at home, office temple and school. Sometime they make some offering to for their book, cause books is the source of knowledge.
Dates : 15 May 2019 & 10 December 2019
Pagerwesi has a meaning the strongest shield. In English Pager means fence and wesi means iron. This day Balinese focuses on building strong mind to ensure the devil to not enter their mind. In some region in Bali this ceremony considered to be really important days, which is they celebrate it mostly like Galungan, including erected Penjor.
Dates : 25 May 2019 & 21 December 2019
Again, the part of the Tumpek days in Bali. Tumpek Landep is day for the metal blessing ceremony. This day is especially for the cleaning and purification of ancestral object such as keris, spears. etc. With the modernity, the sense of celebration Tumpek Landep has derived from its origin. They not only blessing the sharp things, but everything made of metal like scooters cars etc.
Bali Arts Festival
Dates : 16 June – 14 July 2019
Bali Arts Festival is the annual event that held once a year in Bali in Denpasar which is the most famous festival in Bali. It held a full month with a daily performance, handicraft exhibitions and other related cultural and commercial activities also many more arts-related activities. Here you can see the whole Bali comes to Denpasar tho show their love for arts. During this month you will watch many performance dance like legon, gambuh, kecak, barong, baris, mask dances and even contemporary dance choreography derived from old village dance and activities. The important part in this festival is so many Balinese will perform show their talents along the street parade while clad in colorful traditional Balinese outfits.
Date : 29 June 2019
Tumpek uduh is the day that devoted to Sanghyang Sangkara, the keeper of plants and tree life’s. Tumpek uduh held 25 days before Galungan. This day Balinese will give some offerings to plant, they hope that The God of Sangkara keep the plants and trees alive and vertile, avoiding them from everything that can damage them. This day Hindu Balinese wish the rain comes for the plants, they hope that the rain will bring the plants and trees prosperity.
Bali Kite Festival
Date : July – October
Bali kite festival is annual international kite festival held in July in Padang Galak area, Sanur beach. This festival will be held between July and august or sometime through October, and you will see hundreds of competing kite troupes gather around to pilot their traditional kites. This festival is very unique, every year it has a thousand visitor watch it. In daily life of Balinese, kite is the most favorite things to do by the children around the rice field, According to Hinduism the meaning of flying kite is dedicated to Rare Anggon. Rare Anggon is a Hindu’s protector God of rice fields in Bali from the dangers of plant hopper and bird pests.
Date : 24 July 2019
For Balinese, Galungan is the most important day. According to the history, Galungan is about the victory dharma over adharma, or we can say Balinese celebrating the victory good over the evil. This celebration is also give honor to the creation of universe Ida Sang Hyang Widi. Galungan is held twice a year according Balinese calendar, and always in wednesday. Balinese believe this day the ancestor will visit the earth and celebrating Galungan together.
Sanur Village Festival
Date : TBA August 2019
Sanur Village Festival first held in 2006. Every year, this festival grown bigger and now it is the biggest celebration in Sanur. So many highlight of Sanur Village festival, including sport competition, culinary, environmental conservation, fashion show and etc. Here you also can find photography exhibitions, kite festival, fishing tournament, cycling tour. This festival is really family friendly too.
Date : 3 August 2019
If Kuningan is the part of Galungan Ceremony, Mekotekan ritual is part of Kuningan. It celebrate to battle the devil spirit in Munggu village. The ritual aim at purifying the locals and the village. The ritual started at 2pm and throughout the afternoon. You may watch this ritual, but you can’t participate considered disrespectful Balinese people.
Indonesia Independence day
Date : 17 August 2019
Entering the month of august you will probably notice red and white displayed especially in the street. This day Indonesian people celebrating the Independence day with doing flag ceremonies in school and office. After the flag ceremony, mostly they held informal celebration like carnival or parade and then continue with games in a village. The carnival and parade, you will see the are mobilizing hundreds of performance and thousand of viewers in the street. And also, you will watch kindergarten decorated their bikes, marching band and costume party with traditional themes.
Pemuteran Bay Festival
Date : 12 – 15 December 2019
Pemuteran Bay Festival is an event which will be held on Pemuteran bay to promote Pemuteran and Buleleng. Last year there is almost 4 million tourist and locals come visit to watch this festival. Pemuteran Bay festival not only show the culture and arts of Bali, but also it showed the amazing nature of Buleleng and Pemuteran. The government hope that Pemuteran Bay Festival could give positive impact to everyone watch it.
Nusa Penida Festival
Date : TBA December 2019
At the end of the year, Bali will hype you with so many festival, one of them is Nusa Penida Festival. In this festival, the governement of Kelungkung will served you with beautiful culture of Bali. As usual, Nusa Penida festival will held 4 days, it will show traditional dance, music, culinary, and also Balinese life.