January is a festive season for Balinese. There are many holidays and ceremonies that will highlight the everyday life of the island on January since Galungan, the celebration of virtue’s victory over evil, Balinese version of Christmas, is on its way. You can expect all the street of Bali is adorned with decorated bamboo poles and many other interesting holidays’ moments. There is also a special jazz performance that will bring a difference nuance for Bali festive season.
January 6th – 8th
Jazz Market By The Sea, a cultural event that combines jazzy tunes and market feel environment, will feature scores Bali and Jakarta jazz musician including Balawan, BAIO, Dialog Dini Hari, Widi Noor & AN Suara, Indra Lesmana, Khatulistiwa, Lisa Soul, Erik Sondhi, Koko Harsoe, Syaharani, Ito Kurdi and many more. Jazz Market By The Sea will be held on Taman Bhagawan, at Jalan Pratama 70, Tanjung Benoa. As its name suggest this jazz performance will be held right by the sea and you will have opportunity to listen to jazz while enjoying the beauty of the white sand beach.
Tumpek Uduh, can also be called Tumpek Pengatag or Tumpek Pengarah or Tumpek Bubuh , is Balinese version of earth day, that have been celebrated for centuries every 210 days. In this holiday, Balinese offers a blessing ceremony to the plants, especially the ones that are used in everyday life such as such as rice, coconuts, mangoes, durian, bananas, etc. In this special day the plants are decorated with clothes and special decoration made from coconut leaf and presented a special offering. Plants are seen as human relatives, as they are also part of God’s family. This is the time for expressing gratitude to plants. The blessing ceremony held at every plantation and farm throughout the island.
Balinese will celebrate the Siwaratri or the Night of Siwa on this date. This holy day is devoted to Siwa or Shiva. Balinese believes that on this day, Siwa, meditates for the welfare of the world, and Siwa will bestow a pardon for sin for those who accompany him in his meditation by observing some self restrictions including Jagra (staying awake all night long), Upawasa (fasting), and Monabrata (silence). On this night, temples will be full of the congregations. They stay awake all night long, recite prayer or old religious story, chat with friend (for those who takes a lesser self- restriction) and fight the sleepy eyes as hard as possible.
Penyekeban Day is the beginning of Galungan series of holidays. Penyekeban day for Balinese is always a day for cultivating self-restraint. Not only spiritual activity is observed, but there are many physical activities in relation with the preparation to celebrate the day of victory (Galungan) are performed today. Green bananas are sealed in huge clay pots upon which a small coconut husk fire burns. Lots of bananas are required for Galungan offerings, and this heat treatment ripens them quickly.
Penyajaan day is a day of cookies. Various fried rice-dough cookies are made for offering on Galungan (the day of victory). Penyajaan Galungan is also devoted for meditation and self control.
Penampahan day is the day when Balinese are busily preparing offerings and cooking for the Galungan day. While the women have been busy for days before creating beautifully woven ‘banten‘ (offerings made from young coconut leaves), the men usually wake up well before dawn to join with their neighbors to slaughter a pig unlucky enough to be chosen to help celebrate this occasion. Chickens may also be chosen from the collection of free-range chickens that roam around the house compound. The penjor (richly decorated bamboo pole) is also placed in the front of gate. This is ultimate preparation day for the day of victory on the next day.