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Bali Arts Festival

Art and Culture Festival in Bali

The Bali Arts Festival takes place during the mid-year for one month in Denpasar and held on a yearly basis. If you have not witnessed this beautiful event, I would recommend you make a date in Bali around June and July.

This amazing Balinese event is called the Bali Arts and Culture Festival, and the first time I experienced this was back in 2011, where I was in awe with the amount of local culture and heritage on display in Denpasar. 

Bali Arts and Culture Festival

Festival Art Bali
A local in his traditional costume during the festival
At this unique and colorful festival, groups from various tribes and cultures from around Bali, Indonesia will take part in their traditional ethnic costumes.

From beautiful sweet Balinese women in colorful attire to fiercely made up men, this festival is bound to amaze you in all kinds of ways. 

Huge effigies are often seen by some of the groups where some of them can be quite scary. Kind of like the ones used in the Nyepi Festival, which is another massive event that takes place every early March. 

Each tribe or group consists of about 10 to 50 participants who line up and wait their turn in parading in front of the main stage where officials and VIPs are seated.

When I was there the attend the previous Arts Festival in Bali, it was held at a huge local field which could accommodate thousands of people in Denpasar.

It was indeed a sight to see and, I have to thank the Diwangkara Holiday Villa staff for introducing me to this event, as I would have never known about it.

Traditional Costume Balinese Man
A local Balinese in full makeup and costume
The best part - I could count the number of foreigners or tourists on one hand when I was there. Not many people know about the 'Openang Parade' therefore I was fortunate enough to have witnessed it.

Camera in hand, I blended in with the local journalist and photographers and ended up running all over the massive field as there were people dressed in costumes everywhere.

My movement was chaotic as everywhere I looked, there was something new to see and photograph. To summarize it, I took about 3000 photos of this event which started at about 10.00 am till late in the afternoon and until I ran out of batteries!

So this time around, I hope to be there again, with more batteries, lenses and a better camera. If you are going for this and see me there, don't be a stranger and say hello to me.

I end this with a series of photographs which I took back then. Click on the pictures or the full image.

Balinese Girls in Traditional Costume
 Scenes at the Bali Arts Festival

Photography of Bali Arts Festival
 Some unique Indonesian ethnic costumes

The Bali Arts Festival official website has yet to update the information for this year's festival,  and hopefully, they do it. Anyway, here is an excerpt of what the festival is all about.
"The Bali Arts Festival is a full month of daily performances, handicraft exhibitions and other related cultural and commercial activities during which literally the whole of Bali comes to the city to present its offerings of dance, music and beauty. 
On display are trances from remote mountain slopes, forgotten or recently revived village dances, food and offering contests, classical palace dances, stars of Balinese stage, odd musical performances, "kreasi baru" (new creations) from the dance schools of
Denpasar, as well as contemporary choreography and dance companies from other islands and from abroad.
Denpasar, as well as contemporary choreography and dance companies from other islands and from abroad. 
The Bali Arts Festival is the Denpasar cultural event of the year, perhaps it would no be too far fetched to suggest that it is the cultural event of Indonesia. The festival is thus a unique opportunity to see local village culture both "live" and at first hand. Tourists are warmly welcomed."

Dayak Kalimantan
A Kalimantan Dayak in traditional costume

If you are a photography enthusiast or love taking photos of people and cultures, this is one event in Bali that you should not miss. Make sure you follow the protocol when you are here, and respect the people.

I hope you enjoyed the photos and you can view more of these pictures on my Malaysia Asia Facebook Page while I also hope that you can make it for the next Bali Arts Festival.


Meitzeu said...

This is beautiful. I really would love to visit Bali someday. :)

Meitzeu @ Blog

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Malaysia Asia said...

Thanks Meitzeu, yes, you must visit Bali, especially when they have their cultural events so time your trip. By the way, email me your contact please.

hcvvorld of Travels, Lifestyle and Photography said...

colorful and interesting..soo many people have visited Bali and no chance for me yet..huhuh

Anonymous said...

8 jun or 15 jun?

Malaysia Asia said...

Best check the website, cause it is unsure when I write this, last mentioned was 8th June.

Unknown said...

I think it will be on June 15, thanks for the beautiful pictures and writing. I dont want to miss it, I will be in Bali soon ..

Kante Luis said...

thank you