Bali Lost Adventure gives you a nice non-exhaustive list of events taking place in Bali in 2020. 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 the 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.
25 January & 22 August 2020
Tumpek Uduh is the day devoted to Sanghyang Sangkara, the keeper of plants and tree life. Tumpek Uduh held 25 days before Galungan. This day Balinese will give some offerings to plant, they hope that The God of Sangkara keeps the plants and trees alive and fertile, 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.
19 February & 16 September 2020
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 also gives honor to the creation of the universe Ida Sang Hyang Widi. Galungan is held twice a year according to the Balinese calendar, and always on Wednesday. Balinese believe this day the ancestor will visit the earth and celebrating Galungan together.
29 February & 26 September 2020
One of the holiest days on the small tropical island. This day is the tenth days of Galungan, Balinese called it Kuningan. Kuningan derives from the word ‘Kuning’ that means Yellow in English, which represented yellowed rice. On this day, Balinese made special offerings with yellowed rice for the ancestor farewell on the last day of Galungan. On this day Balinese believe that the ancestor returns to their realm after visiting earth for celebrating Galungan. The offerings with yellow riced have 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 puppets that represented the angel who gave the joy and wealth to the earth.
29 February & 26 September 2020
If Kuningan is the part of Galungan Ceremony, the Mekotekan ritual is part of Kuningan. It celebrates to battle the devil spirit in Munggu village. The ritual aims at purifying the locals and the village. The ritual started at 2 pm and throughout the afternoon. You may watch this ritual, but you can’t participate in considered disrespectful Balinese people.
Tanah Lot Piodalan
4 March & 30 September 2020
Tanah Lot is the one famous place in Bali cause it is an important landmark in Bali. Tanah Lot Piodalan can be the meaning anniversary of Tanah Lot temple. Piodalan is a ceremony to give honor to the creation 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.
Melasti Purification Ceremony
22 March 2020
Melasti ceremony is a 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 things and bad karma from human and then they throw it to the ocean. Balinese Hindu believes that the sea or ocean is considered as the source of life. Melasti ceremony not only for human purification, but it also purifies the sacred thing from the temple too.
Ogoh – Ogoh Parade
24 March 2020
One day before the Balinese celebrate Nyepi, they celebrate Ngrupuk Parade, or Balinese also called it Ogoh – Ogoh. Ogoh Ogoh is a giant puppets festival made in form of Bhuta Kala the evil spirit, Bhuta Kala is a creature who likes to disturb human life. This festival/parade is huge in around Bali because almost every Banjar (small communities in the village) celebrate it.
25 March 2020
Nyepi is the day of silence in Bali. Everyone who stayed in Bali should be at home all 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 the balance of nature.
26 March 2020
The kissing festival in Bali. It’s quite interesting, is it? A crowd of single guys and girls 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 kissing, there is somebody else who 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?
4 Avril & 31 October 2020
Another day of Tumpek. We could call it Balinese Valentine day. But, not like a valentine that we always celebrate. This day Balinese will bless the Gamelan (traditional musical instrument). Why? because the Balinese think that human life 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 instruments.
9 Mai & 5 December 2020
Tumpek Kandang ceremony is dedicated to the animal, livestock, and pets. Kandang is a cage in English. But, this ritual not a worship ritual, Balinese consider animal is a friend that created by God as a living creature. Tumpek Kandang has a deeper meaning to remind people to keep in touch with nature.
13 June 2020
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
4 July 2020
Saraswati day is 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. Sometimes they make some offering to for their book, cause books are the source of knowledge.
8 July 2020
Pagerwesi has a meaning the strongest shield. In English Pager means fence and Wesi mean iron. This day Balinese focuses on building a strong mind to ensure the devil to not enter their mind. In some regions in Bali this ceremony considered to be really important days, which is they celebrate it mostly like Galungan, including erected Penjor.
18 July 2020
Again, the part of the Tumpek days in Bali. Tumpek Landep is the day for the metal blessing ceremony. This day is especially for the cleaning and purification of ancestral objects 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.
Indonesia Independence day
17 August 2020
Entering the month of august you will probably notice red and white displayed especially in the street. This day Indonesian people celebrating Independence day with doing flag ceremonies in school and office. After the flag ceremony, mostly they held informal celebrations like carnival or parade and then continue with games in a village. The carnival and parade, you will see the are mobilizing hundreds of performances and thousands of viewers in the street. And also, you will watch kindergarten decorated their bikes, marching band and costume party with traditional themes.
Bali Kite Festival
July – October
Bali kite festival is an 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 visitors watch it. In the daily life of Balinese, the kite is the most favorite thing 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.