Festivals in Bali – List of Festivals & Events in Bali

There will always be special events in Bali every month. From cultural parade to festivals and religious holidays, this island always has a reason for celebration. Tourists are lucky as many events are now open for public. 

Each region or (even) villages in Bali are encouraged to hold a creative/ cultural event promoting their unique local culture. Here is a month-wise list of Balinese festivals which will help you choose some among the many: 

January

  1. Suwat Water Garden Festival also known as the water war (the last week of December until the first week of January) this event similar to Songkran festival in Thailand and held in Suwat village – Gianyar. People will attack each other by using scoops of water taken from a nearby river. This ritual believed to be able to wash away all the bad things within the bodies of all participants.
  2. Mekotek/ Mekotekan (first week of January) is a village ceremony held in Munggu village, Mengwi. During the day all the men will dress up in their traditional costume, pray in the temple and march surround the suburb area while carrying a wooden spears. At one point, all those spears will be arranged to form a pyramid structure, and some people will climb up on top of it. Back then, this ritual was performed to welcome the brave warrior who came back from the war defending the Mengwi kingdom. 

February

  1. Balingkang Festival in Kintamani (tentative). A fusion cultural event between Chinese-Buddhist and Balinese-Hindu to celebrate Imlek/ Chinese new year. During the event, many special penjors with Chinese lantern attached to the tip of bamboo poles are installed along the street near Batur temple. Locals are happy to participate by opening up temporary stalls selling their handmade souvenirs and handicrafts.
  2. Chinese New Year Celebration, with a high concentration of Indonesian-Chinese mixed descent community in Singaraja; the people will gather in Ling Gwan Kiong temple to celebrate Imlek every year. There will be a lion dance and other performances during the festival.
  3. The anniversary of Denpasar City (27 February). Every corner of this special region will be decorated with colourful lamps, cultural concerts, competition and parade will be scheduled. Usually, the celebrations will take place at Puputan Square or Renon Square.
  4. Berawa Beach Festival (last week of February). There will be live performances, art display and food bazaar. Open stage usually will be built next to Finns Beach Club. This event is free of charge, and the public is welcome to see the shows while enjoying the beach.

March

  1. Ogoh-ogoh Parade/ Pengerupukan night (Nyepi eve). A night before all the people in Bali staying in their home to contemplate the true meaning of silence day, everyone gathers on the street to witness lines of monstrous statues in a shape of horrifying figures being carried by hundreds of men. Each village in Bali competes to present the best ogoh-ogoh to win the prize. After the parade usually, all the statues will be burned down to symbolize butha kala (negative forces) have been demolished from the earth.
  2. Nyepi day is the major religious event in Bali, which also marked the first day of the year based on their traditional calendar – Pawukon. Unlike typical celebrations of the new year all over the world which marked with endless fireworks shows, Balinese prefer to celebrate their first day of the year by dedicating a full day to connect with God (Hyang Widi Wasa) through prayer, fasting and meditation. During Nyepi, all the people on the island are not allowed to go out of their house. Every road is closed down, even the airport and harbour will be shut down for a whole day.
  3. Megoak-Goakan (Days before Nyepi) this tradition is held in Panji village Buleleng. It is a fun game followed by many young people from the village divided into two groups consist of eleven people each. Everyone will stay in line like a dragon or snake, and the group who can catch the ‘tail’ or rearmost member of the opponent is the winner. This game takes place on the rice field or open terrain.
  4. The Anniversary of Singaraja City (30 March), as the second biggest city on the island Singaraja’s anniversary can be as lively as Denpasar’s. There will be many exciting events scheduled for the whole week from a cultural festival, art competitions, bazaar and more. People from anywhere on the island are welcome to join.
  5. Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud (tentative) is one of the world’s most inspiring yoga festivals, celebrating global community, world music and well-being. This event usually will be held for a week with pack schedules of exciting activities interactive workshops & seminars, a lively community market & healing centre, a children’s activity zone, yoga classes and many more.
  6. Omed-omedan or the kissing ritual (one day after Nyepi), is a tradition that has been lasted for more than a century. It is held in Banjar Kaja Sesetan, Denpasar. The participants are all young people, boys and girls ranging from 17 to 30 years old. Before the ceremony started a priest will chant a prayer, and once it’s done, the people will start approaching each other and started to give a kiss. Other people will then pour buckets of water over the teenagers. This ritual is an expression of joy to welcome the first day of the new year. 

April

  1. Gianyar Festival (10-19 April), Gianyar has always been a unique region in Bali known as the centre of culture. During the anniversary there will be many events held such as art exhibition, competitions and parades.
  2. Ubud Food Festival (last week of April), this event is one of the most significant culinary plan in the country, even South East Asia. During three days of festivals, there will be many restaurants or food producers from all over Indonesia, mainly Bali will rent a spot to promote their best products to all of the food enthusiasts. Not only selling food products but there will be live performances, cooking demo as well as meet and greet with top chefs or food experts from around the world.
  3. Semarapura Festival (28 April) A local event to celebrate the anniversary of Semarapura, the capital city of Klungkung region. During the event, residents will also pay tribute to warriors who died on Klungkung Puputan War on 1908. There will be many competitions, art exhibition, bazaar, traditional dance parade and more.
  4. Tulamben Festival (tentative), is a coastal village festival to celebrate the local fishermen Tukad Abu Beach in Karangasem. There will be a fishing competition, jukung race (traditional boat) and also plantation of coral reefs together in Tulamben area.

May

  1. Festival Bahari Badung (a full month event) is a massive celebration to promote Badung regency as the centre of tourism in Bali. Every year this event will be held in different places along the south Bali coast. There will be cultural parade, boat race competition and other coastal theme activities.
  2. Bali Blues Festival (tentative) is an annual musical event held in Nusa Dua. There are many musicians from Indonesia and around the world will join in this event, including local artists. Every year the holder will announce different theme of the show, and it’s always a fun event to visit.
  3. Buleleng Art Festival (tentative) is an annual event in Buleleng region to promote, conserve and introduce local art to attract more tourists. There will be traditional art performances, local band competition and culinary bazaar during the festival.
  4. The anniversary of Bangli Region (10 May), is a local annual event with a cultural parade followed by performances by many artists from all over Bangli.

June

  1. Bali Art Festival – Pesta Kesenian Bali (Mid of June – Mid of July), is The biggest annual event in Bali, the peak of cultural celebration on the island held for a whole month. Every region of Bali will send their best candidates in the costume parade, traditional gamelan orchestra and many other competitions. The president of Indonesia usually will attend the opening party in Denpasar; thousand of people will stodge to see this event. Daily performances will be scheduled on Bali Art Centre.
  2. Karangasem Festival (14 June) is the anniversary of Karangasem region. There will be a costume parade, exhibition, bazaar and other programs to promote the local business.
  3. Tenganan Pandan War/ Mekare-kare (end of June) an inspired ancient culture event by the Bali Aga people. During this event, many tourists and photographers from all over the world will come to Tenganan Village to witness local adult males combating each other using prickly sharp pandan leaves and rattan shield as the weapon. This ritual is held as a tribute to the God of War’ Dewa Indra’. The young local (unmarried) girl will perform a swing ritual ride using a special old wooden swing machine which can rotate in a full rotation 360 degrees.
  4. Surfing festival (end of June) is a special event for surfing enthusiasts held in Watu Klotok beach in Klungkung. There will be competition and surf exhibition to promote this underrated beach.

July 

  1. Twin lake Festival (Early June) is a special event in Buleleng to promote the beautiful lake Buyan and Tamblingan. It also hoped to bring out awareness to people on keeping nature clean and harmony. Food bazaar, competitions and some performances are scheduled during the festival.
  2. Bali kite festival (mid of July) is an annual kite festival held in Denpasar or Sanur followed by many groups of teenagers from many banjars from all over Bali. This event is a thanksgiving ritual sent to God for abundant crops have been given throughout the year.
  3. Bali International Choir Festival (end of July) is one of the most significant musical events on the island followed by many participants from around the world, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Indonesia.
  4. Tulamben Festival (end of July) is a scuba diving annual event to promote Tulamben as one of the best dive spots in the world. There will be some fun aquatic competitions during the festivals followed by diving enthusiasts from Indonesia and other countries.
  5. Makepung Festival (mid of July) is an annual cultural event held by Jembrana regency. It’s a buffalo race hold to celebrate the abundant harvest of the local farmers. People from all over the island and photographers are joining the unique festival as this just not a regular race. The buffalos and riders are both dressing up in colourful traditional costume.
  6. Ubud Village Jazz Festival (tentative) is a musical event with many local and international artists performing their legendary hits.

August

  1. Kuta Sea Sand Land (mid of August) this festival is to celebrate the anniversary of Indonesia. Many agendas are on schedule from the cultural parade, sports competitions, live performance by Indonesian artists, and many more. This event will take place in the legendary Kuta Beach.
  2. Badung Agriculture Festival (tentative) is an annual event take place in Plaga Petang as one of the areas in Badung regency famous for its excellent agriculture products including Bali wine. This event is hoped to increase locals’ interest to continue evolving in the agriculture sector. There will be a cultural parade, exhibition, bazaar and cooking demo during the festival.
  3. Sanur Village Festival (End of August) is an annual event held in Sanur to promote the potentials and local culture. There will be traditional boat (jukung) race, musical performance and bazaar.
  4. Tirta Gangga Festival is a cultural event held in the legendary place Tirta Gangga Water Palace – Karangasem. During the festival, a temporary stage will be built in the area, as the locals will perform poetry, dances, theatre and play gamelan. 

September

  1. Taman Ujung Festival (Mid of September) is a local event held on the beautiful Balinese landmark in East Bali Taman Ujung Sukasada. This place has been one of the most visited landmarks by the tourist because of its impressive architecture. During the festival, there will be beautiful cultural performances by Karangasem artists.
  2. Petitenget Festival (Mid of September) is a festive event in Seminyak beach with many exciting agendas scheduled music show, DJ performances, food bazaar, yoga, sport competitions and many more.
  3. Lovina Festival (End of September) is a cultural event in North Bali held to promote the tourism potentials in Buleleng Region. There will be competitions, bazaar and bull race in Kaliasem village.
  4. Balinale – Bali International Film Festival (tentative) is an annual event to celebrate the works of local filmmakers. There will be workshops, seminars and free open-air cinema.

October

  1. Nusa Penida Festivals (Early of October) is an event take place in Nusa Penida island – Klungkung. There will be traditional dance performances, dive competitions and many other exciting activities. This event held to promote all the natural potentials Nusa Penida has.
  2. Perang Tipat Bantal – Rice cake war (September – October) is an annual event in Kapal village – Mengwi. This event is a tradition from the thirteen century as a symbol of gratitude given by the local farmers to God for their abundant harvest. At the festival day, the activity will be started by praying together in the village temple. Then all men member of the village will be divided into two groups where later on they will begin to attack another group with rice cakes. 
  3. Uluwatu festivals (End of October) is an annual festival held in different places within the Uluwatu area. There will be many musical performances, cultural show and DJ show. Some sport competitions also held, like surfing, fishing and sand sculpture.
  4. Nusa Dua festivals (End of October) is a national art event followed by many participants from all of the islands in Indonesia. There will be a music show, art performances and exhibition.
  5. Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (tentative) Held annually in Ubud, the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival has become Southeast Asia’s largest and most renowned cultural and literary event. Writers, readers and journalists from many countries are welcome to join.

November

  1. Legian Beach Festival (mid of November) is an annual event held in Legian beach area with cultural exhibitions displaying best art and handicrafts products created by local artists. Fashion items, home decors, sculptures, paintings and other exclusive pieces will be displayed along with some performances.
  2. Sidemen Festival (tentative) is a special event to promote the beautiful traditional woven textile and songket cloth. These particular fabric materials are known to be a typical product of Sidemen – Karangasem. 

December

  1. Pemuteran Bay Festival (Mid of December), is a nautical celebration to promote the beauty of dive spots and marine life in the north coast of Bali. The event usually will be opened with a festive cultural fanfare.
  2. Denpasar Festival (End of December) is a regular end-year celebration held in Denpasar city with many exciting events like local produces exhibitions, culinary delights, cultural parade, competitions, music concerts, traditional music and dances performances.
  3. Pandawa Beach Festival (25 December – 1 January) is one of the biggest beach event in Bali held in Pandawa beach typically for a week. There will be a cultural parade, performances and local food bazaar.
  4. Panglipuran Village Festival (End of December) is an annual event held by the local government to promote the charming ancient village in Bangli. Panglipuran has been awarded as the cleanest village and one of the protected customary areas by UNESCO. During the event, there will be a traditional fashion fanfare, culinary bazaar and some competitions.
  5. Nusa Dua Light Festival (tentative) is an annual brightest event held in ITDC – Nusa Dua. There will be different theme pick each year, and many beautiful installation of colourful lamps will be displayed. Daily performances and food bazaar also can be enjoyed during the festival.

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