What’s On in Bali in 2015
What many people do not know or miss when they come to Bali is the various festivals and celebrations that take place every year. Some of these have a rich history and are the backbone of Balinese traditions.
Nyepi is the day of silence, is the quietest day in Bali. Falling on the 21st of March in 2015, people are asked to stay inside, stepping out of their houses and daily activities all come to a halt. Travellers should consider Nyepi before finalising their travel plans as the airport is entirely shut on this day and nobody is allowed outside their accommodation. Leading up to Nyepi the locals create paper effigies marking the beginning of Balinese Saka New Year and various processions through the streets of Bali take place.
Bali Spirit Festival
Definitely one of the biggest festivals in Bali, the Bali Spirit Festival brings together the best in health, yoga, music and dance from world over. Taking place in Ubud, the festival will be held from March 31st to April 5th this year. You do not want to miss this festival; imagine a global congregation of music, dance, lifestyle and yoga enthusiasts on the beautiful tropical island of Bali. Need we say more?
Saraswati day – May 2nd this year, is one of the most important days in the lives of Indonesian Hindus and involves praying to Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge. Students pray and make offerings to books and have a small celebration in their schools. Temples in Bali are decorated with flowers and the celebrations and prayers are a delight to watch.
Pagerwesi – translating to iron fence, is celebrated every 6 months as per the Balinese calendar and is an important day for Balinese signifying protection from evil spirits. The celebrations involve prayers and honouring the God Siva. Celebrated in homes and all Balinese temples, villagers also make offerings to dead people who are yet to be cremated. Attending these celebrations will give you a deep understanding of the Bali culture and mythology.
The Kuningan Ceremony
The day is celebrated to mark the return of gods to earth to bless all the living beings and bestow on humans physical and spiritual prosperity. The name of the festival can be traced back to the tradition when people started offering ‘yellow rice’ to gods; a rice preparation using turmeric. The festival sees processions and ceremonies with people dressed in colourful attires and carrying offerings in colourful, long and neatly decorated baskets.
Ubud Food Festival
Held between the 5th – 7th of June, the Ubud Food Festival will see local and international chefs creating mouth-watering dishes and an eclectic mix of global cuisines. This is a treat for your taste buds that you should definitely not miss.
Bali Kites Festival
The Bali Kites Festival is now in its 36th year will be held in the month of July and see kite enthusiasts bring out their specially crafted kites from around the globe on the beach of Sanur. Kites of all sizes, shapes and colours fill the sky and are an absolute joy to watch play with the wind. If you are travelling with your family and kids make sure you have this festival on the list.
Ubud Village Jazz Festival
Local and global jazz artists will be playing at the Ubud Village Jazz Festival to be held on the 7th and 8th of August. To be held at the Arma Museum – Ubud, some of the artists slated to perform include Koko Harsoe, Balawan & Batuan Ethnic Fusion, Joe Rosenberg and Dwiki Darmawan.
Ubud Writers & Readers Festival
The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is one of Asia’s most sought after literary and cultural festival. This annual event is in its 11th edition now and will be held from October 28th to November 1st. Themed 17,000 Islands of Imagination this year, passes are now available for sale. Local and international students will be eligible for discounted prices to attend the festival.
New Year’s Eve
One of the most awaited and celebrated events in Bali in 2015 will be the New Year’s Eve. International artists will be flying in to perform at various events held at some of the liveliest places in Bali. Keep an out for New Year parties at Potato Head Beach Club, Hu’u Bali, The Rock Bar, Ku De Ta, Mozaic Beachclub, Nikki Beach Club, Fynns and Cocoon Beach Club. Tickets tend to book out a month in advance so if you are heading to Bali for NYE then book tickets online.
Apart from all f these events, Bali has a host of smaller events that promote arts, music, dance, health and handicrafts. These events attract a lot of international enthusiasts and the synergy of international culture and Balinese traditions is what makes Bali a true global destination.