Bali Events Calendar 2018

Festivals and Events in Bali

Bali calendar of events feature a full list of festivities and colours. These owe much to the culture and traditions of the Balinese. Here, a special calendar system called the pawukon rotates every 210 days. It governs the daily chores and the elaborate rites of passage a Balinese goes through throughout their entire lives. The calendar system also charts small to grand temple anniversaries. Knowing coinciding dates can help you witness one on your visit.

A rare sight that's unique in Bali is the Saka New Year celebration. It's based on another different system, known as the Saka lunar calendar. This turn of the year is celebrated in total silence throughout the island. The whole of Bali literally shuts down into total silence. Many other cultural events and highlights are also part of the Bali experience. Check out our Bali events calendar below to see if one matches your Bali holiday plans!

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JANUARY 2018

Tumpek Kandang

Date: 20 January 2018

Tumpek Kandang is a special Balinese day that’s dedicated to animals, livestock and pets. Offerings are made for successful farming and animal welfare. They're also aimed at the harmony of the environment and which contribute to human sustenance and happiness. The day is part of a series of other Tumpek days aimed at the blessings of different subjects. Tumpek Uduh is for plants. Tumpek Landep is for metal objects and tools. Tumpek Kuningan for ancestral spirits. Tumpek Wayang is for wayang shadow puppets and art performances. Tumpek Krulut is for traditional gamelan music instruments. Like Balinese temple anniversaries, Tumpek days occur in a 210-day cycle on the Pawukon calendar.

FEBRUARY 2018

Chinese New Year in Bali

Date: 16 February 2018

Chinese New Year in Bali takes place around late January or mid-February each year. This special holiday is observed by Balinese of Chinese descent as well as by most Chinese Indonesians across the nation. You can visit majestic Chinese and Buddhist temples, called klenteng in the local tongue, around the island. Read More...

Tumpek Wayang

Date: 20 February 2018

Tumpek Wayang is a special day dedicated towards traditional performing arts in Bali. Emphasis is particularly put on traditional Balinese shadow puppetry, known as wayang. Various offerings are made to the range of character puppets involved in this theatrical art. Tumpek Wayang is one part in a series of Tumpek days for blessing different subjects.

MARCH 2018

Melasti Pilgrimages

Date: 14 March 2018
Location: coasts of Kuta, Sanur and elsewhere in Bali

The Melasti processions take place around three days prior to the Saka New Year, when pilgrims take heirlooms in long walks from temples towards the coastlines where purification rites take place. Parades along the horizon are stunning to witness while you're in Bali. Read More...

Pengrupukan, New Year's Eve of the Saka Calendar

Date: 16 March 2018

The eve of the Saka New Year is loud and festive, before the day of silence. All the celebrative commotion takes place in the afternoon, and grotesque ogoh-ogoh papier-mâché effigies are paraded throughout the streets. The evening features fire torches and firecrackers, meant to rid the land of malevolent forces. Read More...

Nyepi Day of Silence and Seclusion, Saka New Year 1940

Date: 17 March 2018

Nyepi is ultimately the quietest day in Bali. This day marks Bali's lunar new year based on the Saka calendar which is 77-78 years behind the Gregorian. Read More...

Ngembak Geni, Day after Nyepi

Date: 18 March 2018

The silence of the Saka New Year celebration ‘breaks’ as the morning does at 06:00 sharp. The day is a local holiday in Bali and families visit each other as it is a time for gatherings and short travels.

Omed-Omedan, 'festival of splashes and smooches'

Date: 18 March 2018
Location: Banjar Kaja, Sesetan village, Denpasar

Omed-Omedan is a traditional festivity restricted to the village of Sesetan. It is held on the day after Nyepi (see above), when the youth and whole sub-village of Banjar Kaja Sesetan take to the street where water is splashed and sprayed, and the highlight being two sides of the crowd in a tug-o-war-like scene with a pair in the middle ‘forced’ to smooch at each interval.

Pagerwesi

Date: 21 March 2018

Pagerwesi is the concluding day for the ‘wealth’ series of celebrations. It signifies spiritual ‘reinforcement’. Its name, combining the words pager and wesi, suggests ‘iron fence’ in English. Anything of high importance, the soul and spirit in this sense, should be protected from negative influences. The day is the final significant highlight in this series of holy days in Bali. It aims to protect the blessed subjects of spiritual assets celebrated in the previous days.

Tumpek Landep

Date: 31 March 2018

Tumpek Landep is a day in Bali dedicated to the blessings of metal items. It's meant towards their better use in daily life. These could range from heirloom kris daggers to various other metal objects such as modern machinery, automobiles and such. On this day you're in for an interesting sight in Bali. You'll see cars and motorcycles decorated with intricate stitched-leaf ornaments called sampian roaming the streets in Bali.

Purnama Kedasa - 10th Full Moon

Date: 31 March 2018
Location: major temples island-wide 

This special full moon is considered highly significant amongst Balinese Hindus. Known as 'Purnama Kedasa' in the local tongue, the day coincides with many major temples celebrating in festive rituals, attended by thousands of devotees. The famous mother temple, Besakih, holds a special ceremony known as 'Betara Turun Kabeh' on this special day, inviting the gods and deified ancestors for their blessings. A 'melasti' or purification pilgrimage usually takes place on the preceding Sunday, with processions carrying heirlooms and temple objects to holy water sources. 

APRIL 2018

Bali Spirit Festival 2018

Date: 2-8 April, 2018
Location: Bali Spirit, Jl. Hanoman, Ubud

Bali Spirit Festival 2018 sees its 11th annual running this month. The festival gathers like-minded yoga instructors and practitioners from around the world. The festival is also a celebration of East and West through world arts, dance and music. You can enjoy colourful concerts and performances Read More...

Ubud Food Festival

Date: 13-15 April 2018
Location: Ubud

This festival sees its second year running. It's an exciting three-day culinary extravaganza, held in Bali's cultural heartland of Ubud. The festival follows the success of The Kitchen programs at the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival. This led the organizers and committee to come up with this sibling festival. It's Read More...

MAY 2018

Tumpek Uduh

Date: 5 May 2018

Tumpek Uduh is a day dedicated to the blessing of plants in Bali. It's especially for those that produce fruits and flowers. On this day, households bless their gardens, farms and plantations. This is meant for successful harvests in lead up to the Galungan celebrations three weeks ahead. Galungan ceremonies largely require the items for various temple offerings.

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple 'Piodalan' Anniversary

Date: 15 May 2018
Location: Beratan lakeside, Candikuning, Bedugul, Tabanan

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is among Bali's most iconic temples. This lakeside temple celebrates a biannual piodalan temple anniversary. The celebration falls every Kliwon Julungwangi Tuesday on the traditional Balinese pawukon calendar. Pilgrims from adjacent villages attend to prayers at the temple. Read More...

Bali Blues Festival 2018

Date: 25-26 May 2018 (tentative)
Location: Peninsula Island, Nusa Dua

The Bali Blues Festival is a standalone part of the annual Nusa Dua Fiesta's agenda. It habitually features great local and national jazz and blues bands. Those who performed in the past include Gugun Blues Shelter (featuring Indonesian Jazz musician Indra Lesmana), The Six Strings, Krakatau Reunion, Balinese band Cazy Horse, Balinese tapping guitarist Wayan Balawan, and Indonesian musician Gilang Ramadhan.

Vesak, Buddhist Year 2562

Date: 29 May 2018
Location(s):
Vihara Amurva Bumi, Blahbatuh, Gianyar
Vihara Dharmayana, Kuta
Wihara Buddha Sakyamuni, Denpasar
Brahmavihara Arama, Banjar, Singaraja
Wihara Dharmagiri, Pupuan, Tabanan
Wihara Buddha Guna, Nusa Dua

Vesak or Waisak is a holiday observed traditionally by Buddhists. It marks the birth of prince Siddharta Gautama. The date varies each year on the Gregorian calendar but usually coincides in April or May and in June on leap years. Unique to Buddhists in Bali is that some rituals share slight resemblance to Balinese Hindu features. You can witness this in the use of temple ornaments.

Galungan

Date: 29-31 May 2018

Galungan is a major Balinese holiday when Balinese Hindus commemorate the legendary battle of good versus evil, or the triumph of the spread of Hinduism in Bali. Offerings and prayers take place at family shrines and village temples on 30 May. However, the eve on 29 May sees all Balinese households already Read More...

Batukaru Temple ‘Piodalan’ Anniversary

Date: 31 May 2018

Batukaru Temple celebrates its biannual piodalan temple anniversary, which coincides each Thursday after the Galungan celebrations. Pilgrims from the adjacent villages in Wangaya Gede and all over the island flock to this mountain temple for prayers. Read More...

JUNE 2018

Perang Pandan or 'Mekare-Kare'

Date: 8 and 30 June, 2018
Location: Tenganan Pegringsingan, Karangasem, East Bali

The age-old traditions of the Tenganan Dauh Tukad village in Karangasem include a ritual blood sport. It's called perang pandan which roughly translates to 'thorny pandan-leaf battles'. It is also a coming-of-age rite among village youths coinciding with the village's annual Ngusaba Desa ceremonies. Read More...

Kuningan and Sakenan Temple's Anniversary

Date: 9 June 2018
Location: island-wide and Sakenan Temple, Serangan Island, South Denpasar

Kuningan Day roughly takes place 10 days after the Galungan celebrations. Offerings and prayers are conducted at temples and shrines before noon. One of the island's most notable temples is Sakenan on Serangan Island, which coincidentally celebrates its piodalan temple anniversary around the Read More...

Mekotekan Rituals

Date: 9 June 2018
Location: Munggu Village, Mengwi district, Badung

This age-old tradition coincides with the day of Kuningan and features the whole male villagers of Munggu joining in brandishing long stiff bamboo poles onto the streets. Over a thousand jovial participants and curious onlookers flock to the village streets, reenacting the triumphant battles of the Blambangan war. Each of the pole ends are combined in mid-air forming a dynamic pyramid where to friendly opponents climb up this mountain and face-off at the peak.

The 40th Annual Bali Arts Festival

Date: 23 June - 21 July, 2018

The Bali Arts Festival is locally known as 'Pesta Kesenian Bali'. The festival takes place every second Saturday of June to the second Saturday of July. It's a yearly celebration of exhibitions and performances of various kinds of artworks and cultural achievements. It invites the public to the Niti Read More...

Tanah Lot Temple ‘Piodalan’ Anniversary

Date: 13 June 2018

Tanah Lot Temple, one of the most significant sea temples on the island, celebrates its biannual ‘piodalan’ temple anniversary, which coincides every Wednesday on a Langkir cycle on the Balinese 210-day Pawukon calendar. Pilgrims from the adjacent villages and all over the island flock to the temple for prayers, providing a unique Read More...

Uluwatu Temple 'Piodalan' Anniversary

Date: 19 June 2018

Location: Uluwatu Temple, Uluwatu

This day coincides with a Kliwon Medangsia Tuesday on the Balinese pawukon calendar, which is also the 'piodalan' anniversary of one of Bali's famous sea temples, Uluwatu. The temple is most decorated on this day, and has local Balinese Hindu pilgrims from all around the island attending in Read More...

JULY 2018

The 39th Annual Bali Kites Festival(s) 2018

Date: July - October 2018
Location: Padanggalak Beach, Sanur

The Bali Kite Festival is slated for its 39th year. It provides a sight of gigantic traditional kites built with contemporary designs. The festival usually takes place around the start of the windy season. Read More...

Makepung Buffalo Races

Dates: July - November 2018
Location: Jembrana, Negara, West Bali

This racing tradition is a large deal in the town of Jembrana, West Bali. It even takes on official championships with a Governor's Cup or 'Piala Bupati' to be won. The festival usually kicks off with various heats around the coastal race tracks of Jembrana in the month of July, leading up to the finals and festivities occurring mid-November. The tradition traces back to the legacies of the Jembrana farmers, and during the festivities various other art forms of the locality are performed as well, such as bull fashion shows and Jegog bamboo orchestras. Read More...

7th Bali International Choir Festival 2018

Date: 24-28 July 2018

The Bandung Choral Society organizes this annual choir symposium and competition event. The next is slated for July this year in Bali. In its previous years, the choir festival featured over a hundred choirs, several conductors, and clinicians in a series of choir symposiums and competitions.

AUGUST 2018

Sanur Village Festival

Date: August 2018 (tentative) 
Location: Sanur Village, Sanur

Marking its 13th annual festivity this year, The Sanur Village Festival is expected to attract visitors to an array of water sports activities, a Sanur Run, creative expos, music and art performances, and a highly anticipated cultural street parade. There will also be a culinary festival featuring heritage cuisine, Read More...

Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2018

Date: 10-11 August 2018
Location: ARMA Museum Ubud, Jalan Raya Pengosekan, Ubud

The Ubud Village Jazz Festival returns mid-August this year, once again bringing together a lineup of various Jazz artists from Indonesia and all over the globe. This year's community Jazz concert carries the theme, 'Embracing Uniqueness' and among the notable artists slated to perform this year include the East West European Jazz Ensemble featuring Gregory Gaynair from Germany, Peter Bernstein from USA, Piotr Orzechowski from Poland, Youn Woo Park Trio from South Korea, and a big lineup of Indonesian performers such as The Daunas, Arman & Penina, Bali Gypsy Fire and Mia Samira. The festival will once again take place on an open stage at the ARMA Museum in Ubud. For ticket inquiries, contact main promoter ANTIDA Music Productions, at +62 (0)812 3637 1982.

Jazz Market by the Sea 2018

Date: August 2018 (tentative)
Location: Taman Bhagawan, Tanjung Benoa

Jazz Market by the Sea is an annual community cultural and musical event, held at the beachfront garden of Taman Bhagawan in Tanjung Benoa. Now in its 6th consecutive year, the festival will feature top Indonesian Jazz artists and performers. Last year's featured Raisa, Tohpati Bertiga, Kunto Aji, Balawan & Maestro, Dialog Dini Hari, Rio Sidik, Jampiro and many others. Head to the venue 14:00-23:00 daily during the three-day event and enjoy side events such as a Culinary Journey celebrating Indonesian cuisine through culinary workshops and traditional cooking presentations. Bring the kids who can enjoy a host of fun activities such as face painting, ocean races, mermaid shows, bouncy castles and more.

Indonesian Independence Day

Date: 17 August 2018

This marks Indonesia's 72nd year of independence. The day is celebrated on August 17, when red-and-white flags adorn the street sides and flag raising ceremonies take place at government offices and a major ceremony takes place in Jakarta, attended by the state head and officials. Households and communities throughout the archipelago also post flags and decorations at front of houses. Some communities also hold sack-run races and other revelries in the spirit of nationality. Check out your hotel's food and beverage highlights for some Independence Day promos and menu specials that usually feature national culinary delights.

Legian Beach Festival

Date: August 2018 (tentative)
Location: Jalan Pantai Legian, between Jalan Melasti and Jalan Padma

This year's 'Lively Legian Beach Festival' is held near the end of August, presenting an annual offering of fun activities, day and night. The festival will be set along the 700m long Legian beachfront, starting from the beach in front of The Stones Hotel and all up towards the Padma Resort. This year's event is organized by the Legian village community and is supported by the Indonesian Tourism Board, and will feature various games, competitions, exhibitions and bazaars over the course of four days.

The 7th Maybank Marathon 2018

Date: August 2018 (tentative)
Location: Keramas, Gianyar

The annual Maybank Marathon returns to the flat road and rolling hill course that traverses several villages within the Gianyar regency in East Bali. Last year's marathon's race day was on Sunday, 27 August, and comprised several categories, namely: a Full Marathon (42.195Km), a half marathon (21.0975Km), a 10K, and a fun sprint category for kids. The course chiefly runs through the main bypass road of Jalan Ida Bagus Mantra, traversing the villages of Saba, Pering, Belega and Bona, then back down via the villages of Keramas and Medahan.

SEPTEMBER 2018

Tirta Empul Temple Piodalan Anniversary

Date: 24 September 2018
Location: Manukaya Village, Tampaksiring, Gianyar

The prominent temple complex of Tirta Empul, located in the district of Tampaksiring, serves as a legendary setting for a traditional tale of good versus evil and is a national cultural heritage site. The temple celebrates its piodalan temple anniversary every 'fourth full moon' known as Purnama Sasih Read More...

Lovina Festival 2018

Date: September 2018 (tentative)

The Lovina Festival takes place around the village of Kalibukbuk Beach in north Bali and is usually held around September or October. The festival highlights include a handicraft exhibition and an afternoon opening ceremony filled with a traditional Balinese marching band called Baleganjur and a towering fruit and flower offering or gebogan parade. Performing arts include the Gong Kebyar and Ki Barak Panji Sakti dance that hails from the North Bali region.

Besakih Temple 'Piodalan' Anniversary

Date: 24 September 2018
Location: Besakih Temple, Karangasem

Besakih Temple, also considered the 'mother temple' in Bali, celebrates its biannual piodalan temple anniversary, which coincides every Tuesday on a Kliwon Julungwangi cycle on the Balinese 210-day pawukon calendar. Pilgrims from all over the island flock to the temple for prayers, providing a unique sight to see Read More...

The 12th Annual Balinale

Date: September 2018 (tentative)
Location: Cinemaxx Lippo Mall Bali, Jalan Kartika Plaza, Kuta

Bali International Film Festival, also known and registered as Balinale, is recognized internationally for the diversity of its programming consisting of Indonesian and international independent and award winning fiction, documentary, feature and short films. Balinale's theme in 2017 was, "connecting communities through the world of film." It's slated to present a program of films that project visions and dreams in a positive way, enabling greater exposure, tolerance and acceptance of countries and cultures. The main screenings of Balinale are at the Cinemaxx movie theatre, at the Lippo Mall Kuta

Ultra Beach Bali 2018

Date: September 2018 (tentative)
Location: Potato Head Beach Club Bali, Petitenget, Seminyak

Ultra Beach or the Bali leg of the world-renowned electronic music festival, Ultra Music Festival, is slated to rock the Petitenget beachfront of Potato Head Beach Club Bali again in September. The two-day festival in Bali in the previous year follows on after Japan, Read More...

Bestival Bali

Date: September (tentative)
Location: Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Cultural Park, Jimbaran

Bestival Bali, the successful boutique festival that hails from the south of England, hit the island’s Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park last year for 2 days of great onstage music performances with an international line-up of DJs and bands playing drum n' bass, hip hop, funk Read More...

OCTOBER 2018

Bali Vegan Festival 2018

Date: 5-7 October 2018
Location: Paradiso Ubud, Jalan Goutama Selatan, Ubud

This three-day festival will be held at Down to Earth Paradiso and Taksu, welcoming vegans and the vegan-curious. The community-minded festival will celebrate all things cruelty free and aims to unite the community and spread a message of kindness, compassion and love for animals and the earth. The festival unites world-class vegan chefs, yoga teachers, healers, musicians, comedians, environmentalists and vegan lifestyle enthusiasts from all walks of life and all across the globe. Simply come and share your knowledge and appreciation for health-oriented food and lifestyle choices with the rest of the community.

Nusa Dua Fiesta

Date: October 2018 (tentative)
Location: ITDC complex, Nusa Dua

The Nusa Dua Fiesta is an annual festival that features a week of arts, culture, sports, music and exhibitions that take place in and around the peninsula in Nusa Dua. This year's Fiesta will mark its 22nd year running. Read More...

Bali International Triathlon

Date: October 2018 (tentative)
Location: Sanur

The prestigious triathlon is back in its 10th year this year, but will feature a new course, starting and finishing in Sanur. The race is slated to once again feature an Olympic Distance Course with male and female divisions, a Sprint Distance Course and a 5k Fun Run. Read More...

Ubud Writers & Readers Festival

Date: 24-28 October 2018
Location: various venues, Ubud

The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival once again gathers speakers and writers from all over the world in its 14th year this month, comprising an agenda filled with special events, literary workshops, book launches, youth's programs, and community and arts highlights. Main sessions take place at Indus restaurant and Neka Museum - all located in Sanggingan, Ubud. Various other hotels and venues also serve as hosts, the likes of Four Seasons, Maya Ubud, Casa Luna and Alila Ubud. Other fringe events also usually take place in other places, such as in Denpasar, Seminyak and Jimbaran, and beyond Bali such as Makassar, West Java, Sumatera, Papua and Jakarta.

Kuta Beach Festival

Date: October 2018 (tentative)
Location: Kuta Beach

Kuta Beach Festival showcases youth creativity on the beachfront of Kuta. An opening ceremony on the main road of Jalan Pantai Kuta (in front of the Kuta Beachwalk mall) precedes the weekend of exchibitions, bazaars and live music concerts on the sand. 

DECEMBER 2018

Tumpek Uduh

Date: 1 December 2018

Tumpek Uduh is a day dedicated to the blessing of plants in Bali. It's especially for those that produce fruits and flowers. On this day, households bless their gardens, farms and plantations. This is meant for successful harvests in lead up to the Galungan celebrations three weeks ahead. Galungan ceremonies largely require the items for various temple offerings.

Christmas

Date: 25 December 2018

Although a predominantly Hindu island, Bali has communities of other religions. During Christmas time, Christian Balinese gather in their masses to unique churches. Such churches blend traditional Balinese architectural elements into their cathedral-like features. The most notable Balinese Protestant and Catholic communities are in the villages of Palasari and Blimbingsari in West Bali. You can also find other notable churches and cathedrals around the Denpasar area.

Galungan

Date: 25-27 December 2018

Galungan is when Balinese Hindus commemorate the legendary battle of good versus evil, or the triumph of the spread of Hinduism in Bali. Offerings and prayers take place at family shrines and village temples on December 26. The eve, December 25, sees all Balinese households busy in preparations, by decorating curved bamboo Read More...

New Year Eve and Countdown to 2019

Date: 31 December 2018
Location: various venues, island-wide

New Year's Eve in Bali is dominated by partying scenes at various hotspots across the island. You can expect fireworks in constant launches nearing the countdown to the turn of the year. For a more private and intimate celebration, you can check out your hotel's agenda. Or, keep Read More...

Nusa Dua Light Festival

Date: December 2018 - January 2019 (tentative)
Location: Nusa Dua Peninsula

The third Nusa Dua Light Festival is slated to light up the evening scenery of the Peninsula Island in Nusa Dua. In the past, the festival ran through January the following year, and open to visitors from 15:00 – 21:00. If you're willing to take your rare and unique selfies or group snapshots with friends againts the various lanterns and displays, be sure to bring a tripod or smartphone with low-light shooting capabilities. The festival features life-size lanterns, ranging from small dinosaurs to a hot-air balloon that you can ride in for an overview of the festival grounds. There are also live bands on stage, as well as food and beverage stands.

Nusa Penida Festival

Date: December 2018 (tentative) 
Location: Nusa Islands

This festival was initiated in efforts to promote the Nusa Islands (Lembongan, Ceningan and Penida). The festival usually spans 4 days. It features artistic and cultural performances by the local villagers, as well as highlighting the natural and sightseeing attractions available for visitors. 

Pemuteran Bay Festival

Date: December 2018 (tentative) 
Location: Nusa Islands

What started out as a festival to promote diving and ecotourism along the tranquil shores of North Bali, the Pemuteran Bay Festival has evolved into a highlighted event in this area. It showcases arts and culture of North Bali, with exotic dances and music, and extensively features the award-winning fishing village's underwater bio-rock reef and conservation efforts.

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