Cultures, national holidays and Balinese handicrafts

Discover the real Bali


Balinese art consists of many artists, painters, woodcarvers and jewelers. The multiple cultural influences that the island has enjoyed make traditional Balinese handicrafts unique and represent the identity of Bali. Voir Bali Deco

Traditional market
Bird and fish markets, mountains of vegetables and exotic fruits, pareos and sarongs at attractive prices are just waiting for you. Our certified guides will take you to discover these places of daily life without forcing you to choose a particular stand, in order to avoid any misunderstanding (occasional drivers often earn commissions… it’s a national sport!). This freedom of choice will allow you to fully appreciate the effervescence of the traditional markets.

Balinese gastronomy is particularly rich and varied. The national dish is nasi goreng, based on fried rice with pieces of meat, vegetables and eggs. In bakmi goreng, rice is replaced by fried noodles. Sates are small meat skewers, grilled over a wood fire. They are usually sprinkled with a peanut-based sauce. We also eat fresh tuna, crab, lobster, avocado salad and babi guling. [cochon de lait rôti]Bebek tutuh [canard au miel] Fruits are numerous and tasty: mangoes, pineapples, papayas (which make excellent juices!), guavas and lychee can be found along the lively streets or in the markets. If you wish, you will have the opportunity to participate in a cooking class in Munduk or Ubud.

Masked, danced, or puppet, Balinese theater is an integral part of village life. It is, here, a composition telling a legend through music, dance and song. You may have a chance to see this show in Ubud.

Dance and music
According to tradition, there are several dances in Bali: Legong, Barong, Topeng and many others. They narrate and illustrate mythical tales. In Ubud, for example, you can attend the Kecak, a show telling the story of a woman kidnapped by the king and who was finally saved by the monkey army.

This day is dedicated to the commoration of the Gods, especially to Dewi Saraswati, the beautiful goddess of knowledge, art and literature. Books, manuscripts and Vedas [textes sacrés hindouistes] are blessed and the offerings are made to them.

Pagerwesi means “iron gate”. On this day, ceremonies and prayers are held to strengthen the mental and spiritual defenses to welcome Galungan.

It is the celebration of the foundation of the temple. On this occasion and every 210 days, the locals make offerings to the deities.

Ogoh Ogoh
Statues of monsters created by the villagers who parade at nightfall through the streets and down to the beach, to be purified and then exhibited in the town. They represent the evil spirits, driven out of the city by the Balinese in order to prepare the island for a new year (Nyepi).

Balinese New Year and Silence Festival. Everyone must, from 6 am and for 24 hours, stay at home so as not to attract evil spirits. There’s nobody left on the streets and all the lights have to be turned off. Tourists are required to stay in their hotels with the curtains closed.

The ancestors and Gods of Bali come down to earth to celebrate the creation of the universe. Ten days of festivities follow. The island also celebrates the victory of virtue (Dharma) over evil (Adharma). Galungan ends with Kuningan.

This is the ceremony that concludes Galungan.

Tumpek Wariga is a festival which is dedicated to vegetation. It is also known as Tumpek Pengarah, Tumpek Uduh or Tumpek Bubuh. The locals pray to the Gods to give their graces so that the vegetation can provide a large number of crops and harvests.

Indonesian Independence Day
On August 17 celebrates the independence of Indonesia. The Indonesian National Revolution fought against Dutch forces until the Dutch officially recognized Indonesia’s independence in 1945.

The International Kite Festival
The tenth edition of this festival will take place in Ubud from 1 to 9 October 2014.

Festival of Readers and Writers in Ubud
The tenth edition of this festival will take place in Ubud from 11 to 15 October 2013. Ubud Writers festival

Bali Arts Festival
The Bali Arts Festival lasts a full month and features performances, daily craft exhibitions and other cultural and commercial activities. All the Balinese come to the city to present the dances, the music and the beauties of this island. This year (2013) it will take place from 9 June to 11 July in Denpasar.

Neka Museum
The Neka Museum is located in Ubud and offers a collection of works of art inspired by Balinese culture, the beauty of nature and its people.

Pasifika Museum
The Pasifika Museum opened in 2006, and received the Wonderful Indonesia Award in 2011. It promotes national fine arts. Its main theme is the promotion of Asia-Pacific artworks. The museum seeks to create social cohesion between students, artists and inhabitants.

Antonio Blanco Museum
The Antonio Blanco Museum, located in Ubud, is a mine of artistic treasures. The collection retraces the different periods in the career of the man who was nicknamed “the Fabulous Blanco” or the Dali of Bali. You will find the Catalan inspiration in the architecture of the building located at the top of a mountain.

The Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens of Bali are home to many species of plants endemic or from Java, Sulawesi etc.. Some examples: the tropical garden in Bedugul, the orchid garden in Sanur, the botanical garden in Ubud and many more.

Butterfly Park
The Butterfly Park is home to a multitude of species in the wild. Other insects are also bred here (phasms, spiders, beetles etc…) It is located about an hour northeast of Kuta on the road to Penebel.

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