What better way to experience the authentic Balinese atmosphere if not joining one or more f their famous festivals? For those of you visiting our island in June, here’s a list of the most important festivals in Bali.
One of the first festivals to see in Bali in June s TumpekWayang. This year, it will be held on June 4th and December 31st. In short, TumpekWayang is a ceremony celebrating arts and especially puppeteers. This Balinese festival is held every 210 days (the length of the Balinese calendar). It is also called OdalanWayang or the Shadow Pupet Festival. On June 4th, every Balinese local, puppeteer or even tourists having a puppet hill have to stage a ceremony for the puppet. But this is not the only idea of the festival. The day TumpekWayang takes lace is also used by many locals as a good day for ruwatan, their purification ritual.
The Balinese Shadow Puppet Festival is also one of the most adored and sacred celebrations in Bali, as it held on Saturday, or Saniscara, as the Balinese name their days. Not only that, but this ancient tradition also has some connections of the Hindu and Kala. Tourists can watch TumpekWayang almost anywhere in Bali, especially in temples. Some of the temple where you can see the Shadow Puppet festival are Pura Pedharman and BhatareRatuGede o Wyadari.
Following TumpekWayang, we find PestaKesenian Bali, or the Arts Festival, which taker place every year, for a month, from the second Saniscara (Saturday) of June until the second Saniscara of July. This year, the Balinese will celebrate PestaKesenian for the 36th time. As a tourist, you can visit the numerous art exhibitions, artworks or performances staged by locals.
The end of June is quite busy with festivals. On June 25th, the Balinese people celebrate Saraswati. The festival, Hindu at its origin, celebrates the Goddess of Knowledge. This Balinese festival is held with great respect by the locals, marking the beginning of other 4 significant festivals in Bali, held on consecutive days. For western tourists, it might be weird to have the same celebration twice a year, but we must state that the Balinese traditional calendar has only 210 days, therefore it is not uncommon for some Balinese festivals to occur twice in a Gregorian, 365-days year.
The second day after Saraswti, June 26th, marks the Banyu PInaruh. This is a Sunday, and you just have to go to the beaches. Here, you’ll meet Balinese locals with their families, some of them performing purification rituals.The third holiday in the Balinese calendar is reserved for Soma Ribek. This holiday falls on Monday, thus its name, the “Rich Monday”). This third sacred holiday has its roots in the agricultural past of the Balinese. That is why Soma Ribek is also known as the “rich Monday”, when the day and the night are equal.
Got two more days to spare? Then take part in at least one of the other two most important Balinese festivals, Sabuh Mas and Pagerwesi. The first one celebrates metals and gems. It’s the day of the year when the Balinese perform lots of cleansing rituals and express their gratitude. On the other hand, Pagerwesi reinforces the spirit by protecting from influences everything that the Balinese cherish the most.