“Do not die before you see Bali “

That’s one sentence that often said by lot of tourist after visiting this beautiful island. This island are well known for many others phrases like “Island of Gods” or “Island of Thousand Temples”.  A beautiful scenery is not enough for being called so; it is required unique tradition, rich culture and friendly local residence.

Bali has so many culture heritage, still adhered to, implemented and maintained well in the community. The invasion of foreign culture is unstoppable, except in this island. Western culture invaded some part of Balinese people life but the tradition is still well maintained.

Bali has not much to rely on, but tourism. Having a wide variety of diverse cultures and traditions certainly be an asset for Bali tourism business that everyone preserve and not to be affected by the periods of transition that is unstoppable. And the duty of the community to preserve Bali, not crushed or shifted due to the influence of today's modern world.

The persistence of such unique habits is mainly caused by the function Pekraman Village (Desa Pekraman) that still consistently applied to all customs rules, while maintaining the trust and confidence of religious communities, so as not eroded with the advancement of age and foreign influences.

These are the unique tradition and culture which you can only find in Bali.



Where : Munggu Village Mengwi, Regency of Badung.

When: On Kuningan holly day, 10 days after Galungan.

The  celebration to welcome the Mengwi kingdom war fleet that crossed the area who will go to the battlefield, is also celebrated to welcome the troops when he gets a victory in war with Blambangan kingdom in Java. In the past the Dutch colonial era tradition is never eliminated, but then disaster strikes, all of a sudden 11 people died among the Munggu citizens, then through tough negotiations with the colonial, the celebration can be re-celebrated until now.

Mekotek celebration was once used spears of iron, which gives spirit to the troops or from the battlefield, but over time change and to avoid the participants were injured, the spear was replaced with a rod of pulet which is skinned, which measure about 2 - 3.5 meters. Day celebrations in Kuningan, participants dressed in traditional clothing, gather at Pura Dalem Munggu. Almost all residents comprising 15 hamlets of the age of 12-60 years come celebrate. Then a wooden stick pitted giving rise to noise "tek tek" in kimpulkan so as to form a cone / pyramid, for those who have the guts or who may have professed rose kepuncuk collection of wooden sticks and stand on command like that give encouragement to the troops.


The same was done by other groups, forming a stick like a cone and will be reunited with each other. Command that stands above a collection of sticks will give command like warlords and menabrakkanya with other groups, with a gamelan diiring thus spurring the spirit of the ceremony participants. Even though its a bit dangerous edge is quite pleasant, it is not uncommon that a fall could not reach the top, but all the happy, excited, no anger, another core that can be drawn from the tradition of wood Grebek Mekotek or war, the war does not always lead to hostility and fatalities.



Mekotek - Photo courtesy from google and took a while to identify the origin owner of each photos



Where: Jasri Village Karangasem

When : A day before Nyepi and a day after Nyepi

Another unique tradition in Karangasem regency from the village called Jasri. It is a flame war. Sounds deadly but apparently it is a fun war. No offense no revenge. The procession begun after the sunset a day before the Balinesse Hindu holiday Nyepi, a day name Pengrupukan. During pengrupukan, usually held Butha Yadnya ceremony to make friend from any creature from the underworld (Butha). We need to make friends with anyone so they will not disturb us (human) during the Nyepi day (where everything must be in silent). According to the believe people of Jasri village, during the Pitra Yadnya ceremony – the priest (or so called Pemangku) is followed by the creature of the underworld – there for 50 or more people are trying to tell the creature to return to where they belong by throwing flame to the priests. Well, the flame is generated from burning the dried coconut leaves (danyuh).



Ter-teran - Photo courtesy from google and took a while to identify the origin owner of each photos




Ngerebong or Ngurek

Where : Kesiman Village Denpasar

When : TBD

Ngurek meaning, make a hole or drilling. Not in the land but in your body using keris (curly shape weapon). This tradition is held only in specific temple named  Pura Pangrebongan in Kesiman Village Denpasar. The processed are done through trance stages, where most of the participants are possessed by spirits (can be good or bad one), and they will start screaming, crying, growling and dancing accompanied by traditional music called Beleganjur.


Ngerebong or Ngurek

Ngerebong or Ngurek - Photo courtesy from google and took a while to identify the origin owner of each photos



Megibung, is one of crucial culture heritage. A tradition of eating together in one container. Everyone can eat until satisfied cheekily. Megibung full of value of togetherness. Place to exchanging ideas, jokes and even get to know one or more of the friendship of fellow citizens. Megibung normally participated by 5-8 people, it is a form of togetherness is no difference between men and women are also differences of caste or warn, all sitting mingle and dine together. This tradition still firmly planted in Karangasem Bali. It was introduced by King of Karangasem, the I Gusti Agung Ketut Karangasem Anglurah Caka around 1614 or 1692 AD. When at the time, Karangasem on his expedition to conquer the kings in the land of Lombok. When the rest of the battle, the king urged all soldiers to eat together in a circular position later known by the name of Megibung. In fact, the king himself is said to come eat with the soldiers.


Megibung starting from traditional Balinese cuisine cooking together, whether it is rice and side dishes. When finished cooking, the residents prepare food to eat. White rice is placed in a container called Gibungan, while the side dishes and vegetables that will be eaten is called a bouquet. Megibung tradition is held when there is a Religious Ceremony and in some places, especially in the area of ​​Karangasem. For example in yadnya ceremony such as weddings, temple ceremony in the temple, cremation, ceremony quarterly, and other celebration. In this activity usually had occasion extended an invitation to relatives and relatives to witness the procession of Buddhist religious ceremony. So that the procession ceremony can take place as expected.


There are some ethics that need to be considered during the event megibung, before eating we had to wash their hands prior notice, do not drop crumbs / food scraps from bites, do not take food next to us, if one had been satisfied and satiated forbidden to leave her, even if these rules are not written but still followed the participants ate megibung.



Megibung - Photo courtesy of google and took a while to identify the origin owner of each photos



Where: Can be happened in any part of Bali or Indonesia

When : No specific date, can be anytime in the year depends to the situation.

Ngaben is Pitra Yadnya ceremony. Pitra means ancestor and Yadnya meaning an offering/sacrifice without any conditions. This is the ceremony to honor the ancestor after he/she passed away – paying our debt (Rna) to ancestor (parents) called Pitra Rna. It is a cremation ceremony, supposed to be Ngaben is not a sad situation, it is supposed to be a happy moment celebrating the unification between Atman (Soul) and Brahman (The Creator/God). 



Ngaben - Photo courtesy of google and took a while to identify the origin owner of each photos



Omed - omedan or Mass Kiss

Where : Sesetan Village – Denpasar

When: A day after Nyepi

Omed-omedan or med-medan means of attraction (pull each other) in Bahasa Indonesia. The processes followed by young men and women who are not married, aged between 17-30 years. Omed-omedan followed kissing scenes between the young men and women.

This tradition is quite unique celebrated only one day after Nyepi ceremony or on the day Ngembak Geni, 1st in New Caka calendar Bali. This unique tradition is celebrated in the village Sesetan, South Denpasar, Denpasar.

Omed-omedan at the start of the event pray together, then divided into two groups of young men and women facing each other. Mutual attraction, hugging and kissing watched by thousands of people, those who do not succeed kiss her partner was rewarded with a splash of water. If you're travel or holiday to Bali, just try to watch this unique tradition, only about 15 minutes drive from the airport.

History; In a small kingdom in the South Denpasar named Puri Oka, held game Med-medan or blistering of attraction between boys and girls, because so excited and thrill of the game, the show pull turned into a hug embrace, and sounds like noisy activity.

The king was sick at the time, he was about to angry for the noise. Instead of mad, he feels that the game was quite fun and his pain disappear. Since then, he ordered the game to be held every first day of Caka new year (a day after Nyepi).

In the modern society, this ritual is not agreed by many people in Bali (actually) its not related to any religious believes. It was originated since early 1900 and once the government stops the ritual, until two pig are fighting in the temple (Pura) nearby and suddenly disappear. This considered to be a sign of bad luck and the Omed-omedan tradition is restarted until today.



Omed-omedan - Photo courtesy of google and took a while to identify the origin owner of each photos




Mekare-kare or Pandan War

Where : Tenganan Village – Karangasem

When : 5th month of Bali calendar (around November each year)

Bali Aga is considered one of the most original village in Bali, without any influence from outside world. This village has a tradition and a unique procession of pandanus war which is also known by the name of Mekare-kare or mageret pandan. This tradition is celebrated in the village of Tenganan Dauh Tukad, located about 10 km from the attractions Candidasa, 78 km from the city of Denpasar, can be taken approximately 90 minutes to the northeast of the capital Bali.

Before the war began, residents of Tenganan perform ritual around the village.

Procession pandanus war or Mekaré-kare Tenganan an offering ceremony to honor the ancestors and the god Indra who is the God of War, who fought against the king of the descendants of the Maya Denawa, an evil who prevent the people to worship the God. Tenganan religious beliefs different from other Hindu religion in Bali, they does not recognize caste and believed God Indra as the god of War and god of all gods.

The ceremony are arming people with thorny pandanus. Is celebrated on the 5th month of Bali calendar. Held for 2 days, every fight short walk about 1 minute to do rotation for 3 hours, although eventually they to bleed for embedded thorn pandanus, after the war they were together to help one another pulling a thorn pandanus and give the stolen drugs in the form of betel leaves and turmeric, did not leave the impression of hostility.



Mekare-kare - Photo courtesy of google and took a while to identify the origin owner of each photos



Gebug Ende

Where : Seraya Village, Candi Dasa Karangasem

When : every dry season

Gebug means hitting with a vengeance with a rattan stick length 1.5 - 2 meters and Ende means shields used to deflect the shot. Gebug Ende have elements of art, such as dance, combined with the dexterity of the dancers play the sticks and shields.

When Gebug Ende takes place not only to demonstrate the agility course, but there are values ​​local secrecy. Held every summer in order to invite the rain.

Is played by two men, both adults or children alike. Before Gebug Ende started by offering ritual. According to local belief, the rain shall fall when the match could have sparked the blood. The more the faster it will rain. There is no specific time in the game. Clear the game will end when one of the games have been desperate. No revenge afterwards. This tradition is already quite well known in the east hemisphere of Bali.





Gebug Ende

Gebug Ende - Photo courtesy of google and took a while to identify the origin owner of each photos




The word Makepung is derived from the base word of kepung, meaning ‘chase’, Makepung is one of the unique traditions stemmed from the agrarian life scene of the island, and is a widely enjoyed event in the regency of Jembrana, west Bali. The grand-scale events inspired from such a simple, traditional pastime preserves the unique traditions of this part of the island, as well as to promote tourism to this far flung western location. The competitions also provide positive impact on other local sectors such as agriculture and farming.

The tradition has partly prevented the shift of land for farming use, and it has also encouraged the people to improve the quality of animal husbandry, raising winning buffaloes for the yearly events.


There are approximately seven different circuits spread out in various locations throughout the district. The Sangyang Cerik circuit in the village of Tuwed, Melaya district is one of the main circuits. The other dedicated fields-turned-circuits include Delod Berawah, Kaliakah, Pangkung Dalem, Merta Sari, Tuwed and Awen.

On the eve of the finals, there is a gathering among the racing teams called sekaa makepung with the Jembrana regent, and the evening is as festive as the major racing day that follows, being filled with art performances and public entertainment.

On race days, international visitors will also be equally amused by the ‘buffalo fashion shows’ that feature the bovines beautifully and carefully dressed up with ornaments from hoof to horn, in another segment of the ‘best-dressed’ competitions.

Good to Know about the Makepung Buffalo Races

The Makepung races usually commence early mornings at 07:30 with dozens of pairs of Pepadu (racer) participating. Another hundred or so take part in the 'fashion' parade. The races last for five hours, with the buffaloes divided into three racing divisions.

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. All usually take place over the weekends on a Sunday morning.


The tentative schedule for the 2016 Makepung buffalo races, based on the Jembrana government tourism office's previous year's dates are as follows:

1. 12 July: Delod Berawah Circuit

2. 26 July: Tuwed Circuit

3. 9 August: Mertasari Circuit (Bupati Cup)

4. 23 August: Pangkung Dalem Circuit

5. 6 September: Delod Berawah Circuit

6. 20 September: Awen Circuit

7. 4 October: Mertasari Circuit

8. 18 October: Kaliakah Circuit

9. 1 November: Delod Berawah Circuit

10. 15 November: Tuwed Circuit (Jembrana Cup - FINALS)

The Makepung tradition of Jembrana inspired the creation of a Balinese dance of the same name in 1984. This dance is performed by seven to nine male and female participants, and depicts riders and the buffaloes themselves. One of the unique features of the dance is that it is accompanied by the Jegog bamboo orchestra which is also typical of the regency (bali-indonesia.com)


Makepung - Photo courtesy of google and took a while to identify the origin owner of each photos



The map to help you out locate the tradition took place



To be continued soon...


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