Bali Festivals & Events

Discover Bali’s mysterious and exciting cultural festivals, including this selection of the most important festivals and events in Bali…

Pager Wesi

(November) – Watch lavish ceremonies throughout Bali during Pager Wesi, held across Bali to celebrate Sang Yang (the creator of the universe), with offerings to the Supreme God to stave off evil spirits. Look out for (but don't tread on) offerings laid on little woven baskets on every porch.

Hari Raya Nyepi

(April) – The Nyepi Ceremony is a Hindu Day of Silence, which welcomes the beginning of the Hindu New Year in the Balinese Saka calendar.

The silent vigil is believed to fool the spirits and is a celebration observed with total silence throughout Bali. (Even Bali's airport is closed on Nyepi.)

On this special day, Hindus stay at home, do not cook or engage in any activity; there is no traffic at all on the roads and tourists are not allowed to leave hotels.

On the previous evening, much noise is made to scare away the evil spirits. Purification and sacrificial rites are held on the day prior to Nyepi in order to exorcise evil spirits from every corner of Bali.

Galungan Ceremony

(July) – Bali's most important festival symbolizing the victory of virtue (Dharma) over evil (Adharma). During this auspicious period, it is thought that all the Balinese gods descend to earth for the festivities, which centre on the mysterious Barong dance.

Watch Barong dancers prance from temple to temple giving spontaneous performances in celebration. Galgugan culminates with Kuningan, a day of prayer when offerings are given at temples to bid farewell to celestial spirits and ancestors.

Kuningan Ceremony

(May & Dec) – Yellow rice is offered and temples are beautified to bade farewell to the gods during this ten day event that signifies the end of the new year holiday.

Bali Spirit Festival

(31 March to 4 April) – Watch classical Hatha Yoga, traditional dance and musical performances at this 5-day event held in the grounds of the Bali Purnati Center for arts located in Batuan near Ubud.

Bali Arts Festival

(11 June – 9 July) – Watch some of the most accomplished musicians and dancers perform at one of Bali’s most important cultural event of the year. The Bali Arts Festival, Pesta Kesenian Bali, features a spectacular opening procession including giant ogoh-ogoh dolls, which herald the start of the festival. See Balinese music and dance ensembles wearing traditional costume.

Bali Kite Festival

(July) – Watch traditional giant kites take flight near Sanur Beach during this annual three-day event, which is accompanied by a traditional gamelan orchestra to provide music and entertainment.

Negara Bull Races

(July to October) – Watch bulls decorated with garlands and coupled to chariots are coaxed by jockeys race around a course in the small town of Perancak, near Negara in west Bali This entertaining event, which marks the end of the rice harvesting season is staged every Sunday between July and October.

Independence Day

(17 August) Watch processions, traditional music and dancing during celebrations to mark Independence Day.

Ubud Writers & Readers Festival

(3 – 7 October) – Writers from Indonesia and around the world gather for the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, which includes literary workshops, book launches as well as poetry and performance at venues across Ubud.

Latest update: Festivals & Events: 6 July, 2024