Experience the tradition of kite flying at Bali Kite Festival
Kite flying has a long tradition in Bali. And not only the kids are into it. Especially on the weekends you can see groups of excited grown-ups from the villages with beaming eyes that follow their passion.
There are multiple festivals and competitions held throughout the kite season from late June until the end of October. In July the major ‘Bali Kite Festival’ is taking place at the Padang Galak Beach in Sanur. Hundreds of competing kite troupes gather from all over the island to pilot their traditional kites. Alongside them you can get a glimpse of international teams with modern kites in various shapes and sizes. The Balinese kites measure up to ten meters in length and four meters in width.
Some versions have impressive flowing ribbon tails with sometimes more than 100 meters in length. All kites are made and flown competitively up to 100 meters high by teams from the villages. All are accompanied by their own gamelan orchestra playing the fascinating music. There are fish shaped (Beean), bird shaped (Janggan) and leaf shaped (Pecukan) kites. Each type of traditional kite has its own competition, with heats of ten teams vying for the best launch and longest flight.
If you are in Bali during July a visit at the big Kite Festival is a wonderful day trip to Sanur with all friends or the family. Enjoy a beautiful day at the Beach and get an impression of the great passion from many generations of Balinese.
When: 3.-5. July 2018, depending on weather conditions
Where: Padang Galak Beach, Jl. Padang Galak, Kesiman Petiran, Denpasar
Immerse into Balinese culture at Bali Arts Festival
This year’s 40th anniversary of Bali Arts Festival is taking place in the famous Bali Art Center in Denpasar and themed as ‘Teja Dharmanig Kauripan – Fire as the Spirit of Creation’. The Festival brings the Islands cultural scenes to life for a whole month of different performances all day long, an array of exhibitions by different artists and of course dance and music at its best.
On the opening day you can enjoy the great parade through Denpasar followed by traditional music and dance. During the four weeks of the festival you can experience a wide variety of painting, sculptures and photography exhibitions with a delicious selection of Balinese food stalls, as well as handicrafts from different villages around the tropical island. The final ceremony with the ‘Sendlatari’, a traditional Ballet Dance which is taking place at the Aldha Candra Open Stage, completes this wonderful experience. The Bali Arts Festival is a cultural treat for the lucky ones who are visiting the island in July.
When: 23.06.-21.07.2018, please check the exact schedule
Where: Taman Werdhi Budaya Art Center, Jl. Nusa Indah No 1, Panjer, Denpasar
Watch a bulls competition at Makepung Bullock Races
A widely enjoyed spectacle during July is the Makepung, the great buffalo race held in the regency of Jembrana/West Bali. Not only a few, but about a hundred teams of jockeys and pairs of buffalos (Pepadu) together ride/tow the traditional Balinese wooden ploughs which are slightly modified for the races. The well treated bulls are dressed up with colorful accessories. Two pairs ride at a time and race around a dirt track which is a round open circuit about half a mile wide. The base of the word Kepung which means ‘chase’ is found in ‘Makepung’. This unique tradition is based in the heritage of these rural areas and has its origin in the agrarian life scene. The Festival attracts a lot of local and international visitors into this very quiet and rural area in western Bali. Also it sets a focus on a very important part of the Balinese economy: the agricultural sector.
The dates for each year’s event vary. However, a rough estimate is that several heats take place monthly from July to November at the various circuit locations. Usually, all take place over the weekends on a Sunday morning around 7 to 8am and go for a few hours. Bring a hat/umbrella and plenty of sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. Around the race pits there will be plenty of food stalls with local delicacies and refreshing drinks.
Sunday, 15 July: Delodberawah Village Circuit
Sunday, 29 July: Sanghyang Cerik, Tuwed Village Circuit
Sunday, 12 August: Mertasari. Loloan Timur Circuit (Bupati Cup)
Sunday, 26 August: Awen, Lelateng Circuit
Sunday, 9 September: Delodberawah Village Circuit
Sunday, 23 September: Kaliakah Village Circuit
Sunday, 7 October: Mertasari, Loloan Timur Circuit
Sunday, 21 October: Pangkung Dalem, Kaliakah Village Circuit
Sunday, 4 November: Delodberawah Village Circuit
Sunday, 18 November: Sanghyang Cerik, Tuwed Village Circuit (Jembrana Cup - FINALS)
usually it starts between 7-8 am
Where: different race locations, all around Jembara in West Bali (Negara)
What weather to expect when travelling to Bali in July
The dry season from April until October has pleasant weather for visitors from all ages: not too hot, not too humid, just the perfect temperature with a light breeze.
Even the water temperature during that season drops slightly, which is really refreshing, while a neoprene shirt or a shorty can be recommendable for those spending more time in the water, there is no need for a wetsuit. The evenings become chilly, so some may feel the need to wear a light jacket when riding the scooter/motorbike or during the sunset at the beaches. Surf-wise it is the best season for all the famous spots around the Bukit Peninsula which is located in the Southern part of the island.
For all activities from Yoga classes to taking pictures on your day trips this season offers the best weather and conditions. Book your accommodation in advance and avoid the masses by planning your trip off the beaten tracks or get lost in the positive vibes amidst all the other travelers.