Bali is magical and spiritual. The spirit of Bali lies in the richness of culture, art and tradition, as well as the harmony among its people.Despite being a predominantly Hindu society, Bali is always keen to promote respect and tolerance across each and every one of the other religions, namely Islam, Christianity and Buddhism. In this 14th edition of newsletter, we would like to invite you to celebrate the beauty of diversity with us, as we are about to welcome some of the holiest days observed by various religious communities in Bali.
Easter Sunday, April 1
Jesus Christ the savior was said to die on a cross to save his people from their sins. The period around his crucifixion is widely commemorated by Christians as the holy week. It contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Maundy and Last Supper as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus.
On the third day of his burial after his crucifixion, Jesus rose from death and his resurrection has been since celebrated as Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday.
Some traditions that revolve around Easter nowadays include egg hunting, Easter bunny and Easter parades. Egg itself symbolizes new life and rebirth. In Christianity, Easter egg is considered as the symbol of empty tomb.
Vesak Day 2562
May 29, 2018
Vesak Day commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha Gautama. This holiday is observed by Buddhists mainly in Asia and some other parts of the world.
On Vesak, devout Buddhists and followers alike assemble in their various temples before dawn for the ceremonial and honorable hoisting of the Buddhist flag and the singing of hymns in praise of the holy triple gem: The Buddha, The Dharma (his teachings), and The Sangha (his disciples).
Some devout Buddhists will wear a simple white dress and spend the whole day in temples with renewed determination to observe the Eight Precepts.
Galungan & Kuningan
May 30 & June 9
Galungan & Kuningan are two of the most important holidays in Hindu Bali communities. People who live in the cities use this opportunity to pulang kampung or go back to their hometowns and families during the holidays.
The day before Galungan is called Penampahan which derives from the word nampah, which means “to slaughter” animals such as chickens or pigs, for offerings. The men erect a penjor, bamboo pole decorated with young coconut leaf decorations and some fruits and rice paddies that symbolize harvest crops, in front if their house gates while the women prepare banten, traditional cakes and other offerings.
On Galungan, people put on their religious attire to attend temple ceremonies and go to family shrines with their families. They bring banten offerings with decorated fruits, traditional cakes and coconut leaf decorations, and consume the food later on with their families.
The following day, on Manis Galungan, is the day when people celebrate the holiday series by going on trips or visiting attraction sites. While the Saturday on the following week is Kuningan Day, another holy day where people pray and give offerings before noon. This also marks the end of the Galungan holidays.
Eid al-Fitr, June 13 & 14
June 13 & 14
The month of Ramadan is around the corner. It’s time for Muslim devotee to prepare for a whole month of fasting. This is the holy month of spiritual renewal and deep contemplation as well as holding charities. People will wake early in morning to have their first meal called sahur, and then start to fast throughout the day until the break fast time in the evening. However, little children are usually fasting half-day and break their fast in the afternoon.
June 13 and 14, the Eid al-Fitr, mark the end of fasting period when people celebrate the victory for completing the month of strict fasting by attending a mass Eid al-Fitr prayer. At home, some families prepare large feast of food along with the iconic dishes of ketupat and opor ayam, as well as little snacks to serve to visiting neighbors or relatives.
Similar to Galungan, this holiday is also seen as a perfect time for the devotees to pulang kampung and celebrate the holiday with families. The exodus even starts a few weeks before Eid al-Fitr. They, especially those who live in cities, will prepare gifts and small cash to give out to their relatives.
What’s happening around Bali? During this April-June period, you can visit and enjoy several interesting events and activities that you surely don’t want to miss. You’re a foodie? Mark your calendar as this year’s food festival is just around the corner. Make sure to put Ubud on your to-go list this coming April! For a more cultural taste, Perang Pandan in Tenganan Village, Karangasem and Mekotekan Rituals in Munggu Village, Badung are not to be missed. Be in touch with Balinese traditional activities while you’re in Bali, and while you’re at it, be sure to check out the 40th Bali Art Festival in the heart of Denpasar!
Ubud Food Festival,
April 13-15, 2018
Celebrating the booming of youth’s creativity and innovation in culinary industry, this year’s Ubud Food Festival has come up with the theme of Generasi Inovasi or Generation of Innovation. According to UFF Founder & Director Janet DeNeefe, the emphasis is on the future of Indonesia’s food industry with regards to the vast development of social media and the industry’s effects on the environment.
Taking place for three consecutive days from Friday April 13 to Sunday, April 15, the festival is packed with schedules; from masterclasses, food tours, film screening, kids event to book launches.
Perang Pandan or 'Mekare-Kare,'
June 8 & 30, 2018
Perang pandan is a Balinese tradition of ritual combat with clubs made of pandan. It is known in the Balinese language as mageret pandan or makare-kare. Perang pandan is practiced by the Bali Aga population of Tenganan village in Karangasem Regency, Indonesia. The people of Tenganan are devotees of the deity Indra. Thus, the tradition is held to honour Indra as a warrior god.
Among Tenganan people, mageret pandan is part of a month-full ceremony called 'Usabha Sambah', a ritual to honour the gods, especially Indra, and also to honor the ancestors, held every sasih Kalima the fifth month on the Balinese calendar around June.
June 9, 2018
Mekotekan is a tradition of the people in Munggu Village, Badung Regency. The history of Mekotekan itself dates back to the year 1934. However, it was not held regularly until 1946, when the village was finally free from an epidemic. Due to their joyous state, the villagers pointed their spears up to the air.
This procession is participated by twelve banjars in the village and held ever Kuningan Day, as commanded by the King of Mengwi, Cokorda Made Munggu. It is feared that, if they fail to carry out the ritual, the long-gone epidemics will strike back.
The men of Munggu will gather at the village temple on Kuningan Day. But instead of spears, they bring wooden poles. The men clash the tip of the poles together and intensify the beat until some lost their balance and the formation fall apart.
The 40th Annual Bali Arts Festival,
June 9 – July 7, 2018
Bali Art Festival is held every year at the Werdhi Taman Budaya, Art Centre in Denpasar, Bali. This year, it will take place on June 9 to July 7. For the whole month, artists from all over Bali come together and showcase their talents and artistic cultural activities and works as a means to preserve and introduce the cultural richness of Bali to spectators, either domestic or overseas.
During the festival, visitors can enjoy a variety of artistic and cultural spectacles such as modern Balinese theater, musical performances, dance performances, and art exhibition while having a taste of local food at the culinary festival.
In 1964, President Sukarno declared R.A. Kartini's birth date, April 21, as 'Kartini Day' - an Indonesian national holiday.
Kartini's concerns were not only in the area of the emancipation of women, but also other problems of her society. Kartini saw that the struggle for women to obtain their freedom, autonomy and legal equality was just part of a wider movement.
For all of our today’s Kartinis, we offer you special discount 15% OFF at Kanaya Spa for all treatments on Kartini Day!