Those who happen to be in town this 31st March may notice locals making offerings with such unexpected objects as motorcycles, computers and cars. What looks like a quirky festival is actually the Balinese feast day of Tumpek Landep. A day set aside for the blessing of metal objects in ancient times has now expanded to include more modern elements, making for a fascinating sight for visitors to the island.
Following the appearance of the full moon on 31st March, Purnama Kedasa is a day of temple ceremony and tradition, filled with colourful offerings of fresh fruit, flowers and sweets. Celebrants bathe in holy waters and burn incense, transforming the areas around the temple into a setting of vibrant community.
Cuisine holds a central role in Balinese culture and Soma Ribek—celebrated 20th March—is a feast day dedicated especially to food. In an homage to Bali’s agrarian past and an offering for continued prosperity, the Balinese fill up rice barns and mark the day with joyous gatherings.
Love is in the air on Omed-Omedan, or the Kissing Festival. Centred in the town of Sesetan, this holiday takes place on the day after Nyepi—18th March—and brings together villagers for a day of splashing and spraying water and playful kisses amongst the young people.
Temples are at their most vibrant for one of Bali’s holiest days, Pagerwesi. A holiday for fortifying oneself against evil, pagerwesi literally means “iron fence.” Observed with prayer and ritual, the day is marked with parades featuring traditional Balinese bamboo poles. Celebrants pray and mediate to strengthen their souls against bad thoughts ...