Suwat Water Festival
The latest and biggest event in January in the Gianyar area is definitely the Suwat Water Festival. This year’s theme ‘Unite with water’ reminds how important water is for every living creature and that water also gives life. The five-day festival shows off the region's art and culture and celebrates the New Year. The event starts with a parade featuring a variety of arts and crafts from each village including a fragmentary show, bleganjur gamelan music and canang rebong games. Several attractions will take place like a fun walk, water race, rice planting race, and the arts from the reconstruction at four hamlets throughout the Suwat villages, such as Kecak dag, Janger. The biggest attraction and most famous one is the ‘water fight’ where all participants start throwing water at each other: join the ‘refreshing’ procedure during the heat of the day or just enjoy watching the spectacle.
When: 29. December 2019 – 2. January 2020
Where : Desa Suwat, Pura Dalem Street, Suwat Village, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia
Siwa Ratri - The Night of Shiva
The ‘longest night of the year’ is dedicated to the God known as Shiva, the Destroyer. This big event is a key part of the Balinese calendar and the tradition says that the people who meditate in his honor through this day will be forgiven all sins. The ritual includes restricting yourself from many amenities including sleep and food with the aim to clean all impurities accumulated during the last year. After a night-long meditation a purification ritual takes place on the beaches. Nowadays the Siwa Ratri is one of the most popular holy days in modern Bali; take the opportunity as visitors are more than welcome to observe.
When : 23. January 2020
Where : All over Bali. Ceremonies are conducted at temples and villages around the island.
Tumpek Uduh -Tree and Plant Worship Festival
One of the most beautiful ceremonies held in Bali is the Tumpek Uduh, a feast dedicated to the trees, fruits and flowers. The event is 25 days prior to Galungan and an assortment of special offerings are made to the Sanghyang Sangkara, the God of Food. These offerings constitute crops and farm products from the many plantations scattered across the island. By performing different ceremonies, the Balinese asking for guidance on the cultivation, growth, harvesting and preservation of their plants. The aim of this ritual is to remind of the importance of plants and natural vegetation as a source of food to stay healthy. So all households bless their gardens, plantations and farms and offerings are made to this god in order to invoke blessings on the land.
When : 25. January 2020
Where : Throughout Bali. Ceremonies are held at temples and villages around the island.
Chinese New Year – Year of the Rat
Since 2002 the Chinese New Year is a public holiday in Indonesia also known as the Imlek celebrations. It’s all about turning to a new page and saying goodbye to the past: “out with the old and in with the new”. If you want to see for yourself how the Indonesian Chinese celebrate this special day, go to a Chinese Buddhist Temple (called “klenteng”) like the famous Vihara Dharmayana Temple in Kuta or the new big Satya Dharma Temple in Benoa. Imagine opulent decoration in a deep fruity red, smell an intense aroma of the burning incense and feel a calming and spiritual ambience with lit lanterns and a smoky sky. Afterwards locals often celebrate with an indulgent reunion dinner and get-together with family and friends. There will be numerous auspicious and delicious celebrations on the island to help you on your way into the ‘new year’.
When : 25. January 2020
Where : All over the Bali. Ceremonies are conducted at temples and villages around the Island
Weather: what to expect when traveling to Bali in January
Ask a local about the weather during the rainy season in Bali and you may get 100 different opinions. The conditions are “certainly uncertain” and that is the reason why you get conflicting reports. Rainfall is common, especially during the nights. A small storm can clear quickly and bring out the sun. Expect an average temperature of 26°C (79°F) and some really nice days with no or only little rain, but also consider that some tropical rain showers might be part of your Bali experience. Very warm water makes swimming and long water sport sessions extremely comfortable as the average sea temperature rises to 29°C (84°F). But be aware that the ocean gets rougher due to the wind and rain and the beaches and water in general can become quite dirty because of rubbish that is washed on-shore. Try to enjoy the quietness during the bad weather periods and take a time-out with your favorite book, go shopping, get a relaxing spa treatment or clarify and calm your mind with a yoga class. Enjoy beautiful Bali with a step up to better accommodations due to the low season discounts and pamper yourself with some extra indulgent lodging. You deserve it!