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February Highlights  

by on Friday, 27 January 2012No Comment | 749 views

For Balinese, February this year, is the peak of festivity that starts at in January; Galungan, Balinese equivalent to Christmas is right on the 1st February, there is also Kuningan holiday ten days afterward. February also hosts Valentine Day that will add a different nuance to festivities of this romantic month.

February 1, 2012

Galungan Day is the most important holiday for Balinese. This holiday symbolizes the victory of Virtue (Dharma) over Evil (Adharma). The striking characteristic of the celebration of this holiday is ‘penjor’, a tall bamboo pole splendidly decorated with woven young coconut leaves, fruit, cakes and flowers, on the right side of every house entrance. On this holiday, Balinese pray to the temple in their finest clothes and presents specific offering to God and ancestors.

February 2, 2012

Manis Galungan Day is a holiday when Balinese usually make a trip to visit relatives or tourism destinations and attractions, a holiday to enjoy the festivities of Galungan.

February 11, 2012

Kuningan Day is a holiday to venerate ancestor spirits as they will return to heaven after dwelling on earth for Galungan holiday series. On this day, a special ritual ceremony is held for the ancestor spirits and all the ceremonies be performed before 12 noon since it is believed that the ancestor spirits departs the physical world on noon. There are many exciting and unique events are held on Kuningan Day such as:

Mekotekan

Makotekan is held in the village of Munggu in Badung Regency. This unique activity is performed in order to purify the village and serves as symbol of never ending battle between virtue and evil. Makotekan is usually held in the afternoon and last until night. Makotekan involves male members of the village, especially the youth carry Kotekan (Long wood staves decorated with leaves and tamiang –a shield like ornament made of young coconut leaves). In the Mekotekan activity the male members of procession who carry the Kotekan thrash each other in semi trance at first but since this activity involves hundreds of men the thrashing session soon over replaces by making a mountain like pile of staves, each side of the pile push the pile as hard as they can and eventually the pile will collapse and fall on the weaker side. This activity is repeated over an over along the village main road.

Colossal Cockfighting

Colossal Cockfighting is held on Kuningan day and last for 42 days at Hyang Api Temple in Kelusa Village, Gianyar Regency.  This is the biggest deity-protected cockfighting event in Bali, involving thousands of gamblers, several arenas. For the first five days the cockfighting is held from dawn to noon after that it is held every 5 days during 42-day period. At least 100 pairs of fighting cock will be involved during the first 5 days. The cockfights in this temple are usually held in wantilan (public hall) and in middle temple courtyard. Since this cockfighting involves thousands of gamblers many arenas are created in the middle temple courtyard besides the main arena inside the wantilan. Ordinary tajen always has one arena however big it is. Hyang Api’s cockfighting is considered as a super cockfighting event in Bali.

Hyang Api’s cockfighting is considered to be a ruwatan (clean up all the misfortunes) ceremony. The cockfighting is an obligatory ritual or otherwise the village people believe they will suffer various forms of physical and other misfortunes, affecting both humans and their livestock. No one would dare to cheat on his opponent, and each fight is presided over by an impartial referee. Even if there is no referee, no one will dare to cheat, the gamblers believe that cheating in the temple complex is suicide since the temple’s deities watch all the games and punish the cheater with deadly misfortune. As these cockfights are connected with religious belief and believed to be protected by the temple deities, the police and the authorities look the other way and let it slides.

February 14, 2012

Valentine Day in Bali is celebrated with festivities. Hotels, restaurants, bars, night clubs, boutiques, malls, universities and even schools will celebrates Valentine Day by staging an event or two. You will have more-you-can-handle events to celebrate Valentine in Bali. But if you want to enjoy a romantic candlelight dinner just with your loved one, a private dinner in a private Bali villa will be excellent.

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