Bali might not be the first venue that comes to mind when you think of Halloween as the township is one associated mostly with fine beaches, exquisite multinational cuisine, romance and hospitable treatment no matter where you come from. However, Bali has its own version of Halloween which is known as ‘Nyepi’, which is celebrated by the Hindus in Bali before their New Year.
For Nyepi the Hindu communities get on to the streets and make different chanting like sounds, apparently with the intention of warding off evil spirits prior to ushering in the New Year. They then lock themselves indoors the following day for fear of beckoning the spirits back. Halloween is seen to be celebrated in true traditional form only by the expatriate population, though the trend is catching on, since Bali takes any excuse to party. The tropical climatic conditions allow beach Halloween celebrations and there is good fun on the shores throughout the night.
Youngsters of the North American expatriates get on to the streets in creatively thought-out, supposedly scary outfits that are actually quite amusing and the Balinese population have a good time watching the parade. Trick or treating is not as popular or as successful unless you are in an expatriate neighborhood that would understand the ritual and be involved. Some prefer to appear in accessorized attire for the party environment and dance all their cares away. The outfits can be easily stitched at a local tailor’s or seamstress’s who have now become quite acquainted with the strange ritual and the requirements. Pumpkins are a little more difficult to find, but there is a good local substitute known as ‘labu parang’ which can be used with ease.
Any Kuta beach resort would have a bit of decorations to suit the atmosphere, so expect to see labu parang shells smiling broadly when you sit down for your star class meals at a resort in Kuta. The staff members of the best accommodation providers join in the fun and add to the spooky atmosphere with a small alteration to their usual attire. The Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort and its counterparts have no shortage of guests during this season.
Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+