Bali’s Primary Religious Ceremonies

A large part of the charm that keeps tourists flocking to the beautiful island of Bali is the huge amount of emphasis that the Balinese people place on their religion, and the celebrations that go hand in hand with this. The Balinese are an incredibly devoted people that practice their own special brand of Hinduism that is colourful, tourist friendly and makes for some amazing cultural experiences for those of you planning a trip to the island. Festivals and religious ceremonies form an integral part of the Balinese social calendar so it is inevitable that you will get to experience part of this charm during your trip, especially if you travel away from the more tourism directed southern section of the island.

At religious festivals on Bali the sculptures get dressed up and umbrellas are placed by the temples.

At religious festivals on Bali the sculptures get dressed up and umbrellas are placed by the temples
Photo contribution: wiki/User:Bair175

The Balinese religious calendar is based on a lunar calendar that calls for regular monthly, bi-annual and annual ceremonies, which are adhered to with gusto. Couple this with the large amount of very impressively and beautifully designed temples on the island and you have a recipe for some incredible experiences and photo opportunities!

Most of these ceremonies are open to the public, just remember that there are some important codes of conduct that need to be followed in order to not only show your respect for these breathtaking cultural experiences, but ensure that those tourists that come after you will also be welcomed with open arms and the obligatory smile on the faces of the Balinese people.

Simple guidance when attending a Temple Ceremony:

(provided by the

  • Always wear a sarong and sash.
  • Do not walk in front of people when they are praying.
  • Do not use flash or point your camera at the priest’s face! Never sit higher than the priest, the offerings and/or people praying.
  • During cremation ceremonies, do not get in the way of attendees, however perfect that photographic moment might be…
  • Women are not allowed to enter temples during their menstruation.
The most important religious celebrations are Galungan, Kuningan and Nyepi.  Read more here
About the Ceremonies and dates for 2014