With the revelry of welcoming New Year 2013 well and truly behind us, it is now time to embrace what the next 12 months have in store. As the island of Bali is a veritable melting pot for people of many different cultures and religions, tolerance is a uniting factor. Therefore, the hospitality industry makes every effort to acknowledge both local and international holidays.
Followers of Islam will be celebrating the Birth of the Prophet Muhammad on 24th January 2013. Although this is a public holiday, it is not essentially a festive time and many choose to respect the occasion by reading verses from the holy Koran.
Chinese New Year on 10th February 2013 is typically a family holiday that involves traditional food, dragon dances and ang pao envelopes as a symbol of prosperity. The island’s Buddhist temples are decorated in vibrant colours with offerings of fresh fruit and sticks of burning incense. This year we welcome the Year of the Water Snake, and it is predicted to be a time of heightened community awareness and people coming together.
Bali’s Hindu community will have a lot to celebrate during the month of March with two auspicious dates on the local cultural calendar. Nyepi Day on 12th March 2013 is the Balinese New Year and is also known as the Day of Silence where the entire island literally comes to a standstill for a 24-hour period. All forms of activity are prohibited and even the airport closes.
Then Galungan Day on 27th March 2013 will see the Balinese return home to their ancestral villages to pray in their family temples and feast upon island delicacies such as suckling pig. This revered Hindu holiday honours the universal victory of good over evil.
Lastly, Good Friday falls on 29th March 2013 and Christians everywhere will attend church services to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ and his subsequent resurrection on Easter Sunday. In the modern world this holiday represents a delicious family lunch and chocolate Easter Eggs for the children.