Bali’s Top Festivals & Celebrations

By: MICHAEL AQUINO | Pulished on 2023-12-29


Bali’s Top Festivals & Celebrations-Trip AdviseBicho_raro/Getty Images

The 210-day traditional pawukon calendar followed by Balinese Hindus honor one festival above all: Galungan, a time when the Balinese believe the spirits of the dead roam the earth.


Galungan kicks off a 10-day, Bali-wide celebration that honors the one God above all (Ida Sang Hyang Widi Wasa), also called the Inconceivable (Acintya): as Galungan kicks off, the Balinese show a warm welcome to spirits with rituals in both their homes and in local temples.


The Ngelawang ritual is the one sight to see during Galungan: an exorcism ceremony with a man dressed as a “barong” (a mythical beast that symbolizes divine protection). The barong’s rounds through the village is intended to restore the balance of good and evil — locals make a small offering to the barong in exchange.


In 2019, Galungan takes place between July 24 and August 3.  

Bali Kite Festival

Bali’s Top Festivals & Celebrations-Trip AdviseKeren Su/Getty Images
The winds start picking up speed in July, giving the Balinese a convenient excuse to let their colors fly (literally). Visit Padang Galak Beach near Sanur during the Bali Kite Festival, and watch kite-flyers unleash flying frames bearing a riot of designs: wild animals, boats, dragons, all competing for their piece of the sky.


The Padang Galak event is only one of several kite-flying festivals taking place throughout Bali in this time, though it is probably the most prestigious, offering the largest cash prize to participating kite flyers.


In 2019, the Bali Kite Festival starts on July 28 and continues till the end of October.

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