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Bali Festivals

Balinese Festival Preparation

  • Apart from national holidays of Indonesia honouring Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, Bali has its own rituals and customs, according to centuries-old philosophies that have developed into Bali’s own type of the Hindu faith. Tourists might be confused by the countless street processions as well as the small offerings abandoned at fairly random locations. Don’t be. Balinese have been performing their amazing customs and ceremonies without problems to anybody for a long period. They are a fairly passive race having a quite energetic religion which includes everything the Balinese do; at times silently, usually very noisily.
  • One simple rule of Hinduism is that the world is organised - things don't happen randomly, and it's necessary that equilibrium is managed between disorder and order. Spirits are just about everywhere and eventually manage nature, and therefore should be respected routinely to keep balance. Festivals and rituals are the method in which Balinese preserve this sequence. The celebrations therefore have great significance and are a fundamental element of the Balinese tradition.

Temple Rituals in Bali  

  • Balinese Hindus follow stringent rules about ceremonies and temples. These rules mostly address costume, bodily situations like the monthly period or open injuries, getting food inside the temple, being mentally or physically sick, being in a situation of feelings of loss (for the Balinese this can last 42 days), and having delivered baby during the last 42 days.

Easy guideline for going to a temple ritual  

  • Always wear a sash + sarong - can be rented at temples.
  • Don't walk when in front of people while they are praying.
  • Don't flash or direct your camera at a priest’s face.
  • Never ever sit down elevated than the clergymen or the offerings.
  • Throughout cremation rituals, don't get in the way of people, however excellent that photo chance could be.
  • Ladies aren't permitted to get into temples during their monthly periods.
  • Top of body should be covered up; no bikini tops, sleeveless clothes nor shirtless guys nor singlets.

  • Siwa Ratri, also known as the 'night of Siwa', is definitely a great time for meditation and introspection, in which the Balinese Hindus pray for forgiveness of their earthly mistakes and for strength and support from Siwa so as to attain their elevated selves.
  • Siwa Ratri is observed during the new moon of the seventh month on the Balinese calendar. There are a number of rituals performed all through the day, usually as under:
  • The Siwa Ratri will start with an early morning prayer, normally finishing at 6:00.
  • The rite continues with 3 fasting actions:
  • Monabrata: remaining silent for 12 hours.
  • Upawasa: not drinking or eating for 24 hours.
  • Mejagra: not going to sleep for 36 hours. The Siwa Ratri ceremony is also meant to defeat materialism and also to get nearer to God through prayer and surrender.


  • This festival is the Balinese New Year - a day of complete silence all over the island. No traffic, no activity is permitted on the roads; no fire is allowed to lit for twenty four hours. Great sacrificial and purification rituals are performed on the day in advance, in order to get rid of bad spirits from each and every spot on the isle - Ogoh Ogoh images are designed, and then burnt.