A diverse country filled with different origins and religions, Indonesia has a good line up of ceremonies and festivals each year. Take a good look at our long list of the best festivals in Indonesia.
THE BALI ARTS FESTIVAL
A feast for the senses, the Bali Arts Festival is a cultural extravaganza filled with vibrant colours and movement that takes place from mid-June to mid-July. Showcasing the best of Balinese performing arts, you will be dancing along and jumping with the crowd as you are taken over by the energy of each performance at the Taman Werdhi Budhaya Centre in Denpasar. During the festival, the entire complex is brimming with traditional bamboo and coconut leaf decorations and banners.
BALI KITE FESTIVAL
An annual festival that takes place between July and August, the Bali Kite Festival started of as a means of thanking the gods for an abundant harvest. These days, kite makers show off their skills by filling up the skies above the Padang Galak Beach with kites of all shapes, sizes, and colours.
BALI NYEPI DAY
Not all festivals in Bali are filled with hype and noise. Bali Nyepi day, which is celebrated on the 8th of March, is a silent festival where all island activities stop to make time for self-reflection. The day before this day of silence, however, Bali will be filled with the colour and life of the Ogoh Ogoh Parade. Men in masks will be walking through the streets, representing the spiritual cleansing of Bali.
The Galungan Festival commemorates the victory of good over evil much like the Indian’s Diwali celebration. Celebrated from the 26th of December to the 5th of January, the first day of the Galungan celebration is the time when the spirits of ancestors and dead relatives visit the earth and it is on the last day of the festival that they return to the spirit world. During this time, it is quite common to see the roads lined with food and flower offerings in tiny baskets and penjors, bamboo poles with decorative offerings. If you visit a cemetery during this time, you will see the graves decorated with outfits, food, and drinks.
Celebrated by the locals of the Sanur Village, the colourful fashion of the Sanur residents, as well as their long line up of culinary stands, sports competitions, and cultural shows. Ecological conservation groups also use this festival to promote beach cleaning and the replanting of corals through their photography exhibitions and activities. The Sanur festival is held at Pantai Matahari Terbit Sanur in Denpasar from August 22 to 26 of each year.
BALI SPIRIT FESTIVAL
Rooted in the Balinese concept of Tri Hita Karana, which symbolizes the harmonious relationship between the natural environment, spirituality, and society, the Bali Spirit Festival, which takes place from the 24th to the 31st of March, welcomes various yoga instructors to hold workshops and classes that showcase the different styles of yoga. During this time, the festival grounds are lined with organic food stalls and other health products. Onstage, you will find a showcase of music bands and soloists from all over the world.
A coming of age festival for boys, the Perang Pandan Festival, which takes place on June 8 or June 30, is a time for friendly duels among the men of Tenganan Village. Dressed in their traditional garb and armed with a small rattan shield and a sword made of thorny pandan leaf, they fight each other to the point of exhaustion. After the battle, the scratched participants of this festive battle royale are treated with medicinal herbs and tumeric.
BESTIVAL BALI MUSIC FESTIVAL
From September 29 to 30, the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park becomes the stomping ground of music fans who are here to dance and scream to the chorus of the many world-renowned artists that fly to Bali to perform at the Bestival Bali Music Festival.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FESTIVAL EXPERIENCE IN INDONESIA!
Which of these festivals have you attended? Share your experience with fellow travelers by commenting below.