Bali Unique Tradition-Kissing Festival: Omed-omedan

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