Uluwatu is home to idyllic beaches, a sacred temple (Pura Luhur), and some prime surfing spots. Depending on what time of year you visit, you will also be treated to a fabulous array of local festivals that are wonderful to witness and participate in. Ensure you book one of the fine Bali luxury villas to host your stay in the area, and the Alila Villas Uluwatu features an excellent selection of choice Bali boutique villas. Celebrated all over Bali is the local version of Christmas, Galungan, which occurs every 210 days and lasts for 10. It commemorates and welcomes the gods and ancestors to earth to live at their descendants’ dwelling places. The festivities include dances, the purchase and wearing of new clothes, offerings at the temples in the area, feasting galore, and visits to friends and family.
The end of the celebrations is known as Kuningan, where gods and spirits leave once again. Each village celebrates this joyous event by posting a bamboo pole outside their houses and adorning it with rice stems, palm leaves, corn, and coconuts. At the top of each pole, a stunning plaited creation of palm leaves sits, almost like the star on a Christmas tree. Other festivals celebrated include Nyepi, which is the equivalent of New Year’s Eve, but this is a day of fasting, silences, and contemplation in order to allay the presence of evil spirits.; Saraswati, which is a day dedicated to honouring the Hindu goddess of knowledge; and Ogoh-Ogoh day, which is an exorcism festival that sees the construction of paper effigies, known as “ogoh-ogohs”, that are paraded through the town and are then burned on the beach.
Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday.