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What’s On In Bali in 2011: Festivals, Shows and Exhibitions

What’s On In Bali in 2011: Festivals, Shows and Exhibitions

Bali has a very unique culture where natives revere the spiritual relationship between human beings, God, and the environment. This belief reflects in their day to day work and in the cultural festivities that Bali hosts year on.

* The most important festival in Bali is called the Galungan. Held once in every 210 days, according to the Wuku calendar, this event symbolises the victory of good over evil. It is believed that during Galungan, all of the Balinese Gods including Sanghyang Widi, the supreme deity, descends to earth to take part in the celebrations. While the beginning is marked by ‘Pagerwesi’, where prayers and ceremonies are held to strengthen the spiritual belief, the last day of this festival known as the ‘Kuningan’ has many rituals to appease the spirits of the ancestors.

* Another grand celebration is the New Year in December. People in Bali partake in the revelry on the streets, organize mega carnivals, dance, sing and make merry. Hotels in Bali also offer special packages to guests visiting at this time of the year. This is the time of the year when you can get the best Bali hotel deals.

* During March to April, Bali observes Nyepi. This festival marks the beginning of a new lunar year and usually falls during the spring equinox. The unique feature of this festival is that everyone in Bali including tourists must remain silent all through the day. It is believed that observing total silence will give demons the impression that the island is uninhabited.

* Those of the Christian faith in Bali also celebrate Good Friday and Easter in April.

* Another event in April is the Kartini Day held to commemorate the birth of Raden Ajeng Kartini, founder of the Balinese women’s rights movement.

* June to July in Bali brings forth the arts and the kite festival. A cultural extravaganza, the arts festival is a platform for artists to display various forms of traditional dances, drama and music. The kite festival is also equally colourful with hundred of kites in various forms adorning the blue skies.

* Between July and October, Bali conducts the Negara bull races where jockeys display their valour and riding skills.

* Bali also conducts the Nusa Dua festival between August to September which again presents the vibrant culture of Bali to the world.

* Another event in August is the Independence Day. September sees all prominent temples in Bali organising various celebrations.

* In November, the Bali International Jazz festival is held. This three day event draws performers from all over the world. Most Bali hotels rooms run full during this event and tourists must always book hotels in advance if they wish to visit Bali during this time.

* Another very important festival in Bali is the Eka Dasa Rudra which occurs every hundred years. The belief is that there must be a balance in the world between the good and evil forces and when the latter begins to dominate, this ritual must be held.

With so many festivals and events in Bali spread throughout the year, tourists often get to be part of these celebrations and make their holidays special.