Biggest Events in Bali 2019: Full Calendar

10 Years of Celebrating Bali | Written By, Life on the Island |

Bali’s 2019 calendar of events is marked by quite a number of artistic festivals that allow you to indulge in unique celebrations. From arts and culture to music and sports as well as literary celebrations, we have rounded up Bali’s major events for you to take part in this year.

JANUARY

05

Mekotek

On this day, the villagers of Munggu in Mengwi hold the Mekotek ritual. Known as ‘spear fight’, the ritual started in 1934 in the village of Munggu and real spears were used at the time unlike the blunt ended wooden sticks that are used at present. The Mekotek sees two groups of male villagers as opponents attempting to force down the opposition cone of sticks which usually results in people being crushed below the collapsed cone of sticks.

FEBRUARY

27

Anniversary of Denpasar

Denpasar will burst with colour as the island’s capital celebrates its 231st anniversary this year on 27 February. Merriment will take place around Puputan Square, and a number of competitions as well as cultural performances and parades will also be held on the day.

MARCH

08

Omed-omedan

Known as the kissing ritual, Omed-omedan is celebrated on the day after Nyepi (the silent day) to welcome the Çaka new year. The single Sesetan boys are probably the happiest on this day, for they get to kiss the single ladies of their village without any consequences. During OmedOmedan bachelors and bachelorettes aged 17-30 of Sesetan gather on the area’s main street. Divided into two groups (men and women), they will take position and face each other; at a given signal, both sides will approach to the centre of the street, and male participants will pull and kiss (sometimes forcefully) the female participants while the rest of the villagers in the audience pour buckets of water over them.

24 – 31

Bali Spirit Festival

The week-long festival takes many forms, from yoga, meditation, dance, martial arts and healing workshops and seminars; to full-day fairs and markets selling handicrafts, vegan foods, clothing and gifts. A huge line up of world and spiritual music will hit both daytime and night concerts. Find their schedules, line-ups, special events and more information on their website.

www.balispiritfestival.com

Bali Spirit Festival
Bali Spirit Festival

APRIL

10 – 19

Gianyar Art & Cultural Festival

Held in downtown Gianyar, the Gianyar Art & Cultural Festival aims to promote the regency as a must-visit destination in Bali. The festival will showcase the traditional art, music, costume, food, and even literature unique to the area.

26 – 28

Ubud Food Festival

Indonesia’s most outstanding chefs, producers, restaurateurs, entrepreneurs, food photographers, storytellers, scientists and activists will converge in Bali for the Ubud Food Festival Presented by ABC (UFF). In its fifth year, the country’s leading culinary event will celebrate the nation’s diverse cuisines and exciting gastronomic scene with food lovers from near and far through the theme ‘Spice Up the World’.

www.ubudfoodfestival.com

Ubud Food Festival
Ubud Food Festival

MAY

09 – 25

Festival Bahari

Festival Bahari, or the “ocean festival”, is held by the government of Badung to promote the regency, which is home to a number of the island’s most popular areas such as Kuta and Seminyak, as the leading destination in Bali. Place to be confirmed.

17 – 21

Buleleng Art Festival

This festival aims at promoting and conserving the traditional art and culture of North Bali.

JUNE

09-06 July

Bali Art Festival

Held annually, Bali Art Festival was first held in 1979 by the late Professor Ida Bagus Mantra. The main purpose of this festival is to preserve Balinese art, music, and literature, gaining a strong base for national identity. Now, combining emerging international arts with local culture, Bali Art Festival has become the creative event of the year with its parade, exhibition, and workshop.

24 – 25

TengananPengringsingan Festival

Among the festivities is the famous PerangPandan, or locally known as mekare-kare. This annual, age-old tradition is a colossal coming-of-age ritual, dedicated to God Indra, the Hindu god of war and the sky. The ritual sees friendly duels between all male villagers, who bout each other armed with a small rattan shield in one hand and a tied packet of thorny ‘pandan’ leaves in the other.

JULY

03 – 06

Twin Lake Festival

Located in front of the Ulun Danu Buyan Temple at Pancasari Village, Sukasada and Ulun Danu Tamblingan at Munduk Village, Banjar, Twin Lake Festival is aimed to introduce original Buleleng agricultural products – the name “Twin Lake” refers to the Buyan Lake and Tamblingan Lake. The festival creates opportunities for visitors to try the seafood selection and locally grown exotic fruits. With its Bull Races Parade, traditional game Gangsing Competition, Fruit Arrangement Competition, and Handy Craft Exhibition, the festival offers entertaining ways to spend your time in Bali. The people of Buleleng perform traditional, unique sports at one of the events.

14

Makepung Race, Governor Cup

Makepung is one of the unique traditions stemming from the agrarian livelihood of the island, and is a widely enjoyed event in the regency of Jembrana, West Bali. The widely known race of water buffalo is a colourful spectacle and the racing course is about 2 kilometres. Here, the farmers and their buffalo come to race for honour, pride and the trophy, rather than for money

Makepung Race, Governor Cup
Makepung Race, Governor Cup

27 – 29

Tulamben Festival

This East Bali event will highlight a variety of competitions, exhibitions, and an art and culture parade. Traditional Jukung wooden boat races, wind-powered, will also be held to showcase the skills of the local fishermen.

AUGUST

15 – 19

Kuta SeaSandLand

Kuta Seasandland is a five-day Beach Festival that takes place on the popular Kuta Beach, filled with various events such as parade by the communities of Kuta, culinary festival, cultural and art attractions, international competitions, and international-level musical entertainment.

16 – 17

Ubud Village Jazz Festival

After 6 successful years, the Ubud Village Jazz Festival (UVJF) returns again this year carrying the theme “Freedom of Expression”, welcoming many legendary figures from the Indonesian archipelago and abroad, who will come to perform and share their most recent arrangements with the public at Arma Museum Garden.

www.ubudvillagejazzfestival.com

18 – 20

Tanah Lot Festival

An exceptional event taking place in one of Bali’s most popular attractions, Tanah Lot Festival will be packed with art performances, highlighting different types of Balinese dance among others.

21 – 25

Sanur Village Festival

The 14th annual Sanur Village Festival (SVF 2019) aims to facilitate and develop Sanur community’s creativity and achieve synergy between this creativity and the tourism industry.

24 – 26

Tirta Gangga Festival

Held in the island’s celebrated Tirta Gangga Water Palace, Tirta Gangga Festival’s theme is always related to water and life. During the festival, a stage is built around the water garden, where amazing talents from the local villagers perform poetry, dances, and play music. The three-day festival is a mix of installation art, landscape painting, and theatre including creative competitions to encourage young people’s passion and talents. As part of Bali’s main attractions, Tirta Gangga Water Palace has a large square pool decorated with Buddhist gods and goddesses and an elegant, tiered Nawa Sanga fountain. The one-hectare property located on the outskirt of Amlapura in its well-known current state, was built in 1948 by the last king of Karangasem.

29

Bali Kite Festiva

Always anticipated by both residents and visitors to Bali, Bali Kite Festival is a series of kiting events that starts during the windy season. The festival is a delight for all ages, providing creative competitions such as ‘3D New Kite Creation’ and performing melodious Gamelan orchestra to the guests.

Bali Kite Festival
Bali Kite Festival

SEPTEMBER

07

TEDxUbud

TEDxUbud returns to Bali this year on 7 September. Created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading,” the TEDx program is designed to give communities, organisations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.

www.tedxubud.com

TEDxUbud
TEDxUbud

14 – 16

Petitenget Arts & Spirit Festival

The festival, taking place on the popular area of Petitenget, will showcase music performances, traditional human puppets, yoga sessions, and traditional dance performances.

15 – 17

Ujung Water Palace Festival

This three-day festival features a cultural parade by the local youth community, art installations around the square Dirah pool, and a Mebat competition. Visitors can experience the spacious park at the water palace and the festivity, relaxing on the grass while enjoying the many performances.

24 – 30

Balinale

Don’t miss the 12th edition of the Bali International Film Festival or Balinale this year with another outstanding lineup of intriguing documentaries, shorts and fiction features representing tens of different countries.

www.balinale.com

25 – 28

Lovina Festival

Held in Kalibukbuk and Kaliasem villages, Lovina Festival reflects the beauty of Lovina Beach with its sparkling black sand and breathtaking sunset. During the festival you can enjoy collaborative music performances, Bungbung traditional dance, puppet shows, cultural parade around the villages in Lovina, and even party at Kaliasem Beach. The festival highlights are the fireworks show and the cultural parade, where the local communities take part. It overall blends the beauty of nature and culture.

OCTOBER

03 – 05

Festival Nusa Penida

With themes surrounding the Blue Paradise, the nickname of Nusa Penida Island, Nusa Penida Festival highlights the importance of the coral reef as a part of the Global Coral Triangle, the main focus of the festival is to celebrate nature and engage with it. The festival aims to be an eye-opening event for visitors to experience water sports and activities such as sailing and snorkelling. With a series of events including a photography competition, camping, and musical performances.

14

Ketipat War

A unique festivity, Ketipat War is an annual event that was first held in 1337 by the villagers of Kapal village in Mengwi. Ketipat is a typical Indonesian rice cake wrapped in coconut leaves, and during this event the villagers throw the Ketipat at each other.

23 – 27

Ubud Writers & Readers Festival

From humble beginnings in 2004, the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF) has evolved into one of the world’s most celebrated literary and artistic events – an annual pilgrimage for lovers of literature and conversation. Bringing together some of the world’s most powerful voices in a melting pot of artists, authors, thinkers and performers, the festival is a platform for meaningful exchange and cross-cultural dialogue. A place where artists and audiences alike can discuss shared inspirations, ideas and concerns, UWRF transcends cultural and geographical borders to create a truly global community.

Across five days, UWRF delivers an eclectic program of events – from fiery conversations to intimate literary lunches, gripping live performances to hands-on workshops. This year, the festival celebrates its 16th year as Southeast Asia’s leading festival of words and ideas.

www.ubudwritersfestival.com

Ubud Writers & Readers Festival
Ubud Writers & Readers Festival

25 – 27

Nusa Dua Fiesta

Taking place in the peninsula of Nusa Dua, Nusa Dua Fiesta showcases traditional handicraft exhibition, art and musical performances from across the Indonesian archipelago, and culinary stalls. Other activities include beach clean up, along with competitions such as kids drawing and even selfie contest.

NOVEMBER

08 – 12

Legian Beach Festival

More than just sand and sun, Legian sits perfectly amid Kuta and Seminyak and offers an irreplaceable taste of paradise. From inspiring arts and crafts, dining experiences, to catching the waves, Legian is acknowledged to be one of Bali’s liveliest and most vibrant areas. As the name ‘Legian’ means ‘sweet’ in Balinese, Legian Beach Festival promises a lasting sweet memory for its visitors. It’s an outdoor day and night mega festival, set along 700 meters of Legian beachfront. As Legian’s most anticipated festival, the event will bring you to a whole new experience with fun activities and competitions along with beachfront bazaar and food stalls.

17

Makepung Lampit Race

Different from the regular Makepung Race, MakepungLampit is held in wetlands, where a pair of buffalo pull the Lampit, or the wooden board, on muddy terrain. Inspired by the Balinese agrarian traditions, MakepungLampit signifies the gotong royong culture, where everyone joins to help each other. In the villages, everyone is helping on the land-levelling process to prepare for the harvesting season. This traditions initiates MakepungLampit.

DECEMBER

28 – 31

Denpasar Festival

Denpasar Festival focuses on happiness and sustainability. It realises Bali’s full potential and the important existence of its creative industry. Held at the end of the year and originally named Gajah Mada Festival, Denpasar Festival commemorates the year with a silver lining. The celebration has a different theme every year, and holds resourceful exhibitions and ethnic musical performances by Balinese artists. The end of the festival is celebrated with a dance parade and the end-of-the-year DadongRerod opera.

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