Bali Travel Guides

There are a myriad of festivals in Bali. Some are dedicated to the art of woodcarving or the birth of a goddess. Other festivals include temple festivals, fasting & retreat ceremonies, cleansing festival, special prayers for the dead, nights of penance (sivaratri), harvest festivals (usaba), blood sacrifices and house deity anniversaries (odalan sangguh).

Bali uses three calendars (the Western, the Saka and the Wuku calendars) so finding a fixed date for local festivals on the western calendar can be difficult or inaccurate. Therefore, when you first arrive in Bali it is advised that you seek out a tourist office and get a list of current festivals and events from them. As Bali has festivals almost daily especially temple festivals, the tourist office will fill you in on these local festivities, many of which are not listed below due to the fact that the dates for the celebrations fluctuate from year to year.

You will mostly likely come across a festival or ceremony during your stay in Bali. Temples are beautifully bedecked with flowers, palm leaves, flags and bamboo towers, complete with noisy parades, food offerings and prayers that add religious fervour to the festive ambience.

Balinese ceremonies are normally held during late afternoons or evenings when the day is cooler. Balinese believe that the island is owned by the supreme god Sanghyang Widhi and has been handed down to the Balinese in sacred trust. To show their appreciation, the people fill their waking hours with symbolic activities and worship. If you see a procession of women garbed in traditional wear, carrying small bowls or balancing towering offerings on their heads, or a group of batik-clad men with head-cloths, just put on a shirt, grab your camera and mingle with the crowd - you will always be welcomed.

January

New Year's Celebration (December 31, January 1st)
On New Year's Eve street festivals and carnivals are held. Paper trumpets are sold and can be heard blown everywhere. New Year’s Day tends to be a quiet affair as most people are recovering from the celebrations the night before.

March/April

Nyepi (Icaka New Year) is a festival that marks the beginning of a new lunar year and usually falls during the spring equinox. On this day, everyone in Bali including tourists must remain silent. No one is allowed to work, travel or partake in any indulgences. Visitors are advised to observe this custom and to stay within their lodgings for the day. It may seem like a day is wasted, but the previous night's festivities would have sapped substantial energy and spirit to make up for the day of stillness. It is believed that evil spirits leave the island, thinking that the place is uninhabited due to the complete stillness.Visit this website for photographs and further information about Nyepi Day in Bali

Good Friday is celebrated by those of the Christian faith and is held on the Friday before Easter.

Easter is celebrated by Christians throughout Bali and consists of religious ceremonies performed at the various churches on the island and within private homes.

On Kartini Day women wear traditional attire to commemorate the birth of Raden Ajeng Kartini, founder of the Balinese women’s rights movement.

June/July

Bali Art Festival (mid-June through mid-July) is a great time to visit Bali; it is worth the extra effort to even be there on opening day. Never will you have a better opportunity to see Bali's glorious culture so close at hand. The Taman Budaya (Art Centre) in east Denpasar is where the main events are held each year.

During the Kite Festival hundreds of kites in a myriad of forms and colours decorate the blue Bali skies, treating foreign travellers to yet another aspect of the island's unique culture. 

Negara Bull Races (July to October)
If you are in Bali at this time you will have the opportunity to experience the Negara bull races. The pampered bulls are spruced up with accessories, hitched in pairs to makeshift chariots and steered by jockeys who combine their riding skills and tail twisting to induce maximum performance.

August/September

Independence Day (August 17th) is when the Republic of Indonesia achieved independence from the Dutch.

Nusa Dua Festival (August/September) Travellers to Bali, will have a special treat when the rich and vibrant local culture is presented during this week-long Nusa Dua Festival.

December

Christmas Day (December 25th) is celebrated by members of the Christian faith throughout the island.

Public Holidays

January 1 New Year's Day (Western Calendar)
Feb 20, 21 Idul Fitri Festival
March 21 Seclusion Day / Saba New Year
April 5 Good Friday
April 28 Idul Adha Great Day
May 16 Ascention day of Christ
May 19 Hijriah New Year
June 2 Waisak Day
July 28 Maulid of Prophet Mumammad
August 17 National Independence Day
December 8 Isra Miraj of Prophet Muhammad
December 25 Christmas Day