Summer is here and this paradise island is gearing up for seasons of celebration. For those who are planning to fly in, here are some the things to look up for on the island in the next six months.
Also known as Perang Pandan, or Pandan War, this traditional festivity is held at the beautiful lush village of Tenganan in Karangasem, East Bali. This annual event is traditionally a mass coming-of-age ritual dedicated to the Hindu god of war and the sky, Indra, which 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 on the other. It’s definitely a cultural spectacle that should not go amiss.
Date: End of June – July
Location: Tenganan Village, Karangasem
Bali Kite Festival
Attend the iconic and colourful Bali Kite Festival held in July where hundreds of handcrafted traditional kites take to the skies. This three-month long festivities are happening all around the island, however the biggest one would usually be held at Padang Galak Beach, near Sanur, somewhere within end of July to early August. So make sure to keep your ears open for more updates.
Date: July – October
Location: Padang Galak Beach, Sanur
Makepung Buffalo Races
This unique tradition of buffalo races is originated on the northwestern part of Bali. The competition is held over five months with a penultimate race being held in November in Jembrana at Delodberawah. And just like many exciting traditional goings-on in Bali, it’s better to ask the locals for their exact location and time.
Date: July – November
Location: Jembrana, Negara
Ubud Village Jazz Festival
Coming back for its fifth year, this unique jazz festival will take place in the heart of the lush village of Ubud at Arma Museum. Presenting a lineup of international as well as local jazz musicians, this year’s festival will run for two days and carries the theme ‘Embracing Uniqueness’.
Date: 11-12 August
Location: Arma Museum, Ubud
Ku De Ta White Party
With the theme, Trippin The Light Fantastic, this legendary summer party at the equally legendary beachside venue in Seminyak is not to be missed. Lineups are still to be confirmed but it will sure to give you an unforgettable Balinese summer.
Date: 19 August
Location: Ku De Ta, Seminyak
Sanur Village Festival
Celebrating its 12th year, Sanur Village Festival is bringinh back an anticipated soiree filled with arts, culture, food, water sports and environmental awareness to the shores of Bali’s sunrise coast. This year’s event promises a series of various sports events and competition, with the Sanur Run kicking off the week-long festival.
Date: 23-27 August
Location: Sanur Village, Sanur
Ombak Bali is the first event in Southeast Asia which showcase local and international independent surf films and documentaries. This annual event provides a great platform for filmmakers who explore the diversity of the surfing world and present their work to a larger audience. The three-day event will see surf film screenings, art exhibitions and music performances, all located along Seminyak’s stretch of sand.
Date: 13-15 September
Locations: Seminyak Beach, Seminyak
The annual Bali International Film Festival, or Balinale, is an internationally recognised event presenting a diverse programs consisting of Indonesian and international independent and award-winning fiction, documentary, feature and short films. This year’s theme, “connecting communities through the world of film”, is aimed to put greater exposure on tolerance and acceptance.
Date: 24-30 September
Location: Lippo Mall Kuta, Kuta
The Bali edition of UK’s mult-award winning festival, Bestival, will fill up the iconic Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Cultural Park with some of the biggest interanational acts and local talents over two days of fun, music, food and merry mayhem. Amongst the many artists who will perform during the festival are Alt-J, Rudimental, Rob Da Bank, Stars and Rabbits and Ras Muhammad.
Date: 30 September – 1 Oktober
Location: Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park, Ungasan
Bali Vegan Festival
Established in 2015 with the aim to inspire a healthier, compassionate and ethical lifestyle through plant-based eating, Bali Vegan Festival is a unique celebration consisting of a collection of educational events, cooking demos, talks, yoga and meditations classes, bazaars, and community discussions.
Date: 6-8 October
Location: Paradiso Ubud, Ubud
Nusa Dua Fiesta
Nusa Dua Fiesta is the biggest annual celebration in the southernmost part of the island. Presenting fun and colourful week of art exhibitions, cultural performances and sporting event, it will be its 21st time to welcome the general public to the otherwise exclusive tourism enclave in Bali. This year’s lineup is yet to be confirmed, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for more details to come.
Date: 11-15 October
Location: Nusa Dua Peninsula, Nusa Dua
Ubud Writers & Readers Festival
Gathering speakers and writers from all over the world for its 14th year, Ubud Writers & Readers Festival will hold a number of special events, literary workshops, book launches, youth programs and community and art highlights at several venues dotting around the lush village. Drawing a theme from the Hindu philosphy ‘Sangkan Paraning Dumadi’–which speaks about our eternal connection to where we have come from and where we will ultimately return–the festival’s programs are aimed to unfold the powerful moments that have influenced and continue to shape our world as we know it.
Date: 24-29 October
Location: Various spots around Ubud, Ubud
Despite it being more of a religious celebration than a secular festivity, Galungan still holds a great spectacle for everyone to experience. This special holy day is celebrated twice a year, and this month would be its second time this year, where the locals would welcome the spirits of their ancestors at their homes decorated with the intricate penjors. Click here to learn more about the celebration.
Date: 1-2 November
Location: All around the island
New Years Eve Celebration
The New Years Eve celebration here on this island of Gods are quite literally everywhere–from its endless coastlines to the highlands of Ubud and even Kintamani. The fireworks display may not be as grand as other big cities around the globe, however what Bali lacks in organised celebration, it makes up in its multitudes of NYE parties. Do check out events dates for the usual hangouts.
Date: 31 December
Location: All around the island