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Valentine's Day

Date: 14 February 2015
Location: Major Bali hotels and shopping malls

Celebrate the day of love on Valentine's Day, when there's always an excuse to raise the bar in treating your loved ones a few notches. There's always something happening this month surrounding this special date at the major Bali hotels, especially with their food and beverage promotions specifically catered to lovebirds looking for a special and romantic dinner.

Tumpek Kandang
Date: 7 March 2015

Tumpek Kandang is a special day filled with dedicated blessings for animals, livestock and pets. Various offerings are made to the Hindu god Rudra for successful farming and animal welfare, aimed at the harmony of the environment and which contribute to human sustenance and happiness. The day is part of a series of other Tumpek days aimed at the blessings of different subjects, namely Tumpek Uduh for plants, Tumpek Landep for metal objects and tools, Tumpek Kuningan for ancestral spirits, Tumpek Wayang for wayang shadow puppets and Tumpek Krulut for traditional gamelan music instruments – all which occur in a 210-day cycle on the Pawukon calendar.

Melasti Pilgrimages
Date: 18 March 2015
Location: beaches of Kuta, Sanur and around Bali

The Melasti processions take place approximately three days prior to the Saka New Year, when pilgrims take heirlooms in long walks from temples towards the coastlines where purification rites take place. Parasols, banners and small effigies paraded along the horizon make for a stunning and only-in-Bali scene.

Nyepi Day 2015 in Bali
Date: 21st March 2015

Nyepi Day in Bali is a New Year’s celebration unlike anywhere else on the planet. Also known as Bali’s celebration of the Saka New Year, it is ultimately the quietest day of the year, when all of its inhabitants abide by a set of local rules that brings all routine activities to a complete halt. The roads all over Bali are void of any traffic and nobody steps outside of his or her home premises.

Most Balinese and visitors regard it as a much-anticipated occasion. Expats and those coming from neighbouring islands prefer escaping Bali for the day due to the restrictions that surround this observance. Some visitors check coinciding dates ahead before their Bali trip, avoiding it altogether. Largely, Nyepi is worth experiencing at least once in a lifetime, especially since the preceding and following days are full of rare highlights!

 

Ngembak Geni, Day after Nyepi
Date: 22 March 2015

The silence of the Saka New Year celebration ‘breaks’ as the morning does at 06:00; the day is a local holiday in Bali and families visit each other as it is a time for gatherings and short travels.

The 8th Annual Bali Spirit Festival
Date: 31 March - 5 April 2015
Location: Various venues around Ubud and island-wide

The sixth in its annual series, BaliSpirit Festival is scheduled for March in 2013, continuing the annual revelry of yoga and wellbeing. A pre-festival YogaThon is planned for 17 March at Desa Seni, Canggu/Kerobokan, and the 18 March is the pre-festival launch party in Ubud. Between 25 March through 6 April, a post festival events, retreats, and concerts will take place all over the island.

Purnama Kedasa - The 10th Full Moon
Date: 3 April 2015
Location: major temples island-wide

This special full moon is considered highly significant amongst Balinese Hindus. Known as 'Purnama Kedasa' in the local tongue, the day coincides with many major temples celebrating in festive rituals, attended by thousands of devotees. The famous mother temple, Besakih, holds a special ceremony known as 'Betara Turun Kabeh' on this special day, inviting the gods and deified ancestors for their blessings. A 'melasti' or purification pilgrimage usually takes place on the preceding Sunday, with processions carrying helrilooms and temple objects to sanctified water sources.

Saraswati
Date: 2 May 2015

Bali and the Balinese celebrate Saraswati, a day devoted to the Goddess of Knowledge, Art and Literature - Dewi Saraswati. To mark this joyous day, books of knowledge, manuscripts and the Vedas are blessed and special offerings are made together with aspirations for knowledge and wisdom. The day is the first in a series of five important religious highlights. Saraswati falls on an Umanis Watugunung Saturday in the Balinese 210-day pawukon calendar, hence its celebrations twice in a Gregorian year.

Banyu Pinaruh
Date: 3 May 2015

Banyu Pinaruh is the immediate day after Saraswati, which falls on a Paing Sinta Sunday in the Balinese pawukon calendar. The morning typically sees Balinese Hindus heading to the nearest beaches either for weekend family leisure and cleansing or purification purposes

Soma Ribek
Date: 4 May 2015

Soma Ribek falls on a Pon Sinta Monday on the pawukon calendar and roughly means ‘rich Monday’. As Balinese culture is based on agrarian ways, the day signifies blessings for prosperity in the form of full harvests that fill the rice barns, symbolising affluence and sustenance.

Sabuh Mas
Date: 5 May 2015

Sabuh Mas is a day of wealth dedicated to precious stones and metals. Various rituals include the cleansing of items as well as blessings. It is also an opportunity among the Balinese to express their gratitude towards the Divinity for their worldly wealth and to remind that all can and will be separated by fate. The day falls on a Wage Sinta Tuesday on the Balinese pawukon calendar

 

Tirta Empul Temple Piodalan Anniversary
Date: 6 May 2015
Location: Manukaya Village, Tampaksiring, Gianyar

The prominent temple complex of Tirta Empul, located in the district of Tampaksiring, serves as a legendary setting for a traditional tale of good versus evil and is a national cultural heritage site. The temple celebrates its piodalan temple anniversary every 'fourth full moon' known as Purnama Sasih Kapat on the traditional Balinese pawukon calendar, which coincides with 8 October this year.

 

Perang Tipat Bantal / Rice Cake Wars
Date: 6 May 2015
Location: Jalan Raya Kapal, Mengwi, Badung

This century-old tradition features the villagers of Kapal gathering in front of the village temple where prayers and blessings take place for the full moon of the fourth month in the Balinese calendar and proceed towards the foyer and streets where they divide into two groups armed with baskets of rice cakes called tipat bantal, later flinging their ammo at each other in a very rare and unique spectacle. The event signifies blessings and prosperity for the whole agrarian village. After the battles, the remainders are spread over rice fields.

Vesak, Buddhist Year 2559
Date: 15 May 2015
Location(s):
Vihara Amurva Bumi, Blahbatuh, Gianyar
Wihara Dharmayana, Kuta
Wihara Buddha Sakyamuni, Denpasar
Brahmavihara Arama, Banjar, Singaraja
Wihara Dharmagiri, Pupuan, Tabanan
Wihara Buddha Guna, Nusa Dua

Vesak or Waisak is a holiday observed traditionally by Buddhists, marking the birth of prince Siddharta Gautama. The date varies each year on the Gregorian calendar but usually coincides in April or May, and in June on leap years. Unique to Buddhists in Bali is that some rituals share slight resemblance to Balinese Hindu features, such as in the use of temple ornaments.

Batukaru Temple Piodalan/ Anniversary
Date: 22 May 2015

Batukaru Temple celebrates its biannual piodalan temple anniversary, which coincides each Thursday after the Galungan celebrations. Pilgrims from the adjacent villages in Wangaya Gede and all over the island flock to this mountain temple for prayers.

 

Kuningan Day and Sakenan Temple's Piodalan/ Anniversary
Date: 31 May 2015
Location: island-wide and Sakenan Temple, Serangan Island, South Denpasar

Kuningan Day roughly takes place 10 days after the Galungan celebrations. Offerings and prayers are conducted at temples and shrines before noon. One of the island's most notable temples is Sakenan on Serangan Island, which coincidentally celebrates its piodalan temple anniversary around the day of Kuningan with a series of festivities, sacred dances and flows of pilgrims from all over during its three-day celebrations.

 

Bali International Triathlon
Date: 14 June 2015
Location: Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay, Jimbaran

The prestigious triathlon is back this year in Jimbaran, and will feature an Olympic 1.5km swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run as well as a Sprint 500m swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run to the finish line in the scenic Jimbaran Bay.

 

Ubud Food Festival
Date: 5-7 June 2015
Location: Ubud

This festival sees its groundbreaking event this year as an exciting three-day culinary extravaganza, to be held in Bali's cultural heartland of Ubud. The festival follows the success of The Kitchen programs at the previous year's Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, which led to the organizers and committee to come up with this sibling festival driven by the passion to share the rich heritage of Indonesian cuisine to the world. The festival will feature local and international chefs from across the archipelago.

 

Tumpek Uduh
Date: 20 June 2015

Tumpek Uduh is a holy day dedicated to the blessings of plants, especially those that produce fruits and flowers. On this day households bless their gardens, farms and plantations for successful harvests in lead up to the Galungan celebrations three weeks ahead, which largely require the items for various temple offerings.

 

The 36th Annual Bali Arts Festival
Date: 13 June - 12 July

Locally known as 'Pesta Kesenian Bali', the Bali Arts Festival, which interestingly takes place from every second Saturday of June to the second Saturday of July, is a yearly celebration of exhibitions and performances of various kinds of artworks and cultural achievements, and gathers locals and international visitors to the Niti Mandala Renon square for the opening, then to the Denpasar Arts Centre for daily performances and exhibitions.

 

Galungan
Date: 15 July 2015

The day that commemorates the legendary battle of good versus evil, or the triumph of the spread of Hinduism in Bali. Offerings and prayers take place at family shrines and village temples.

 

Umanis Galungan
Date: 16 July 2015

The day after Galungan sees typically extended Balinese families visiting each other, as well as making short holiday trips with the whole family.

The 36th Annual Bali Kites Festival 2015
Date: 18-20 July 2015 (TBA)
Location: Padanggalak Beach, Sanur

The Bali Kite Festival is slated for its 36th celebration this year, as an annual feast among the Balinese as they regard the art of kite making and piloting highly. The event is also anticipated by the international community as it provides rare opportunities to enjoy gigantic traditional kites built with contemporary designs. The festival usually takes place around the start of the windy season, somewhere between the end of June through August, and is slated for 18-20 July this year. The agrarian background of the Balinese largely contributes to this kite-flying tradition, when these months usually provide open fields after harvests.

 

Tanah Lot Temple Piodalan/ Anniversary
Date: 29 July 2015

Tanah Lot Temple, one of the most significant sea temples on the island, celebrates its biannual ‘piodalan’ temple anniversary, which coincides every Wednesday on a Langkir cycle on the Balinese 210-day Pawukon calendar. Pilgrims from the adjacent villages and all over the island flock to the temple for prayers, providing a unique sight to see on this sacred offshore sanctuary with its famous sunset backdrops.

 

Makepung Bull Races
Dates: (tentative)
Location: Jembrana, Negara, West Bali

Bali has a wealth of bull races. This racing tradition is a large deal in the town of Jembrana, Negara regency, even taking on the official championships designation as the Governor's Cup or 'Piala Bupati'. The festival usually kicks off with various heats around the coastal race tracks of Jembrana in the month of July, leading up to the finals and festivities occurring mid-November. The tradition traces back to the legacies of the Jembrana farmers, and during the festivities various other art forms of the locality are performed as well, such as bull fashion shows and Jegog bamboo orchestras.

 

Ubud Village Jazz Festival
Date: 7-8 August 2015
Location: Arma Museum Ubud, Jalan Raya Pengosekan, Ubud

The second Ubud Village Jazz Festival is slated for August this year. The event once again will bring together a lineup of various Jazz artists from Indonesia and all over the globe. Among the notable artists confirmed to perform include Koko Harsoe, Joe Rosenberg, Balawan & Batuan Ethnic Fusion, and Dwiki Darmawan. The festival will take place at the Arma Museum in Ubud.

Jazz Market by the Sea
Date: 15-17 August 2015
Location: Taman Bhagawan, Tanjung Benoa

Jazz Market by the Sea is an annual community cultural and musical event, held at the beachfront garden of Taman Bhagawan in Tanjung Benoa. The festival will also feature various side events, such as exhibitions throughout the festival grounds, fun workshops, a kids green corners with environmental awareness highlights, and others.

 

Indonesian Independence Day
Date: 17 August 2015

This marks Indonesia's 69th year of independence. The day is celebrated on August 17, when red-and-white flags adorn the street sides and flag raising ceremonies take place at government offices and a major ceremony takes place in Jakarta, attended by the state head and officials. Households and communities throughout the archipelago also post flags and decorations at front of houses. Some communities also hold sack-run races and other revelries in the spirit of nationality. Check out your hotel's food and beverage highlights for some Independence Day promos and menu specials that usually feature national culinary delights.

 

Sanur Village Festival
Date: 20-24 August 2015 (TBA)
Location: Sanur Village, Sanur

The Sanur Village Festival attracts large numbers of international visitors to this small coastal village east of Denpasar. The organizers put in much communal effort to make the annual event bigger by the year and feature an array of water sports activities in its week-long agenda, celebrating its coastal heritage. This year's festival is slated to coincide with the APEC conferences, becoming a highlight for world delegates.

 

Legian Beach Festival
Date: 28-31 August 2015 (TBA)
Location: Jalan Pantai Legian, between Jalan Melasti and Jalan Padma

The Legian Beach Festival is slated to present its annual offering of surfing, swimming, dancing and Indonesian food festivities in its eighth year. The celebration aims to promote tourism to this area north of Kuta, inviting visitors to discover and learn about Indonesian culture, with a range of activities and performances of traditional dances and music with performers from all over Indonesia and Bali. There will also be fashion parades, surf exhibitions and mini pageants.

 

4th Bali International Choir Festival 2015
Date: 29 July - 2 August 2015

The fourth annual choir symposium and competition event organized by the Bandung Choral Society is slated for the end of July through early August this year. Last year, over a hundred choirs, several conductors, and clinicians gathered at the second annual event for a series of choir symposiums and competitions.

Ubud Writers & Readers Festival
Date: 28 October - 1 November 2015
Location: various venues, Ubud

The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival once again gathers speakers and writers from all over the world in its 11th year this month, comprising an agenda filled with special events, literary workshops, book launches, youth's programs, and community and arts highlights. Main sessions take place at Indus restaurant and Neka Museum - all located in Sanggingan, Ubud. Various other hotels and venues also serve as hosts, the likes of Four Seasons, Maya Ubud, Casa Luna and Alila Ubud. Other fringe events also usually take place in other places, such as in Denpasar, Seminyak and Jimbaran, and beyond Bali such as Makassar, West Java, Sumatera, Papua and Jakarta.

 

The 9th Annual Balinale
Date: 12-18 October 2015
Location: Cinema XXI Beachwalk, Kuta Beachwalk, Kuta (TBA)

The annual Balinale will be held 12-18 October this year with a series of workshops, film industry forums, free seminars and a list of screening showtimes at Bali's newest cinema. A great opportunity for movie buffs enjoying their time in Bali

 

Tumpek Landep
Date: 18 October 2015

Tumpek Landep is a holy day that is dedicated to the blessings of metal items, from heirloom kris daggers to various other metal objects such as modern machinery, automobuiles and such; all towards their better use in daily life. On this day you'll see cars and motorcycles decorated with intricate stitched-leaf ornaments called 'sampian' roaming the streets in Bali.

 

Besakih Temple Piodalan/ Anniversary
Date: 2 December 2015
Location: Besakih Temple, Karangasem

Besakih Temple, also considered the 'mother temple' in Bali, celebrates its biannual piodalan temple anniversary, which coincides every Tuesday on a Kliwon Julungwangi cycle on the Balinese 210-day pawukon calendar. Pilgrims from all over the island flock to the temple for prayers, providing a unique sight to see on this sacred sanctuary at the foot of Mount Agung, the island's highest peak.

 

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple Piodalan/ Anniversary
Date: 2 December 2015
Location: Beratan lakeside, Candikuning, Bedugul, Tabanan

Among the island's most iconic temples, this lakeside temple celebrates its biannual piodalan temple anniversary, which coincides each Kliwon Julungwangi Tuesday on the traditional Balinese pawukon calendar. Pilgrims from the adjacent villages attend to prayers at the temple.

 

Penampahan Galungan
Date: 16 December 2015

Galungan eve sees all Balinese households busy preparing for the following day, by decorating curved bamboo poles with elements of harvests and natural items, such as rice, fruit, coconuts, and leaves. These penjor poles symbolize the blessing by Mother Nature. When complete, these ornamental bamboo poles provide a unique sight, lining every road throughout Bali. The day also features spit-roasted pigs in Banjar communal halls, and traditional food prepared for the whole village to share.

Galungan
Date: 17 December 2015

The day that commemorates the legendary battle of good versus evil, or the triumph of the spread of Hinduism in Bali. Offerings and prayers take place at family shrines and village temples.

Umanis Galungan
Date: 18 December 2015

The day after Galungan sees typically extended Balinese families visiting each other, as well as making short holiday trips with the whole family.

 

Batukaru Temple Piodalan/ Anniversary
Date: 18 December 2015

Batukaru Temple celebrates its biannual piodalan temple anniversary, which coincides each Thursday after the Galungan celebrations. Pilgrims from the adjacent villages in Wangaya Gede and all over the island flock to this mountain temple for prayers.

Christmas
Date: 25 December 2015

Although a predominantly Hindu island, Bali has communities of other religions. During Christmas time, Christian Balinese gather in their masses to unique churches that blend traditional Balinese architectural features. Among the most notable Balinese Protestant and Catholic communities are located in the villages of Palasari and Blimbingsari in West Bali. There are also other notable churches and cathedrals around the Denpasar area.

Kuningan Day and Sakenan Temple's Piodalan/ Anniversary
Date: 27 December 2015
Location: Island-wide and Sakenan Temple, Serangan Island, South Denpasar

Kuningan Day roughly takes place 10 days after the Galungan celebrations. Offerings and prayers are conducted at temples and shrines before noon. One of the island's most notable temples is Sakenan on Serangan Island, which coincidentally celebrates its piodalan temple anniversary around the day of Kuningan with a series of festivities, sacred dances and flows of pilgrims from all over during its three-day celebrations.

 

Mekotekan Rituals
Date: 27 December 2015
Location: Munggu Village, Mengwi district, Badung

This age-old tradition coincides with the day of Kuningan and features the whole male villagers of Munggu joining in brandishing long stiff bamboo poles onto the streets. Over a thousand jovial participants and curious onlookers flock to the village streets, reenacting the triumphant battles of the Blambangan war. Each of the pole ends are combined in mid-air forming a dynamic pyramid where to friendly opponents climb up this mountain and face-off at the peak.


Tanah Lot Temple Piodalan/ Anniversary

Date: 31 December 2015

Tanah Lot Temple, one of the most significant sea temples on the island, celebrates its biannual ‘piodalan’ temple anniversary, which coincides every Wednesday on a Langkir cycle on the Balinese 210-day Pawukon calendar. Pilgrims from the adjacent villages and all over the island flock to the temple for prayers, providing a unique sight to see on this sacred offshore sanctuary with its famous sunset backdrops.

New Year 2016 Countdown
Date: 31 December 2015
Location: various venues, island-wide

New Year's Eve in Bali is dominated by the partying scenes at various nightspots and public spaces all across the island, with fireworks in constant launches. For a more private and intimate celebration, check out your hotel's or favourite restaurant's New Year's Eve dinner programs.

 


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