Bali Unique Tradition-Kissing Festival: Omed-omedan


Following Nyepi — a day of silence for Balinese Hindus marking the Saka New Year — Banjar Kaja in Sesetan, Denpasar, holds Omed-Omedan, a kissing festival for local teenagers that is believed to ward off bad luck in the year ahead.

The story goes that the festival began “a long time ago,” but nobody quite knows when. A group of bored teenagers were hanging around, playing games outside on Nyepi near the house of an elderly village leader who was sick. When the leader stepped outside to scold the laughing teenagers, he instantly felt better.

The festival has been held ever since. In the 1970s, it was moved to the day after Nyepi to respect the silence edict. There was only one year that the festival did not push through and locals say that on that day, the head of the community found two pigs fighting outside the main temple. Continue reading


Bali Marriage

My Parents Wedding

A couple’s marriage will not be acknowledged in the society if it is carried out without a traditional sacred ceremony according to the Hindu religious beliefs. In addition, the couple will be excommunicated from their village.

There are three kinds of marriage styles in Bali: “Ngerorod” (elopement), “Memadik” (more respected) and “Nyentana” (where a man moves permanently into his wife’s home).

“Ngerorod” is the most common of these is eloping, whereby the man and woman arrange to meet somewhere out of sight of the girl’s parents and spend the night together at a friend’s house. Sufficient publicity is ensured so that people find out what is going on. Under these circumstances the girl is not allowed to return to her parents and resume life as before, but in most cases the girl’s parents are not in the least surprised. However, they make a great show of pretending to be outraged at the impudence of the boy and his family for plotting the downfall of their daughter.

“Memadik” is a marriage form in Bali in which the boy’s parents and other family members come to the house of the girl’s parents and respectfully ask for their daughter. This is a costly process as large ceremonies and offerings are involved, but needless to say accords significantly more respect from the girls parents as compared to the clandestine night-time elopement. Form the man’s point of view, however, it’s more risky as the parents of his bride-to be must give their approval.

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