Bali Culture

Bali culture is steeped in a rich tradition and spirituality that focuses mainly on art and religion, with the two often expressed through each other. Most Balinese people are an artist of some kind and spend their leisure time working on hobbies and artwork that have been passed down through generations. Many public areas, homes and paddy fields are decorated by detailed paintings, intricate carvings, fine weaving, extraordinary rice decorations and artworks that pay religious homage.

Bali's culture is a complex and diverse system that is highly adaptable and centres around the concept of time, place and situation or Desa, Kala, Patra as the locals call it. This notion asserts that traditional thought will harmoniously blend with the new and that reality is a coincidence of the material (Sekala) and the eternal (Niskala) and that one cannot exist without the other. According to Bali culture, the world is a product of the interactions between the material and the eternal. This concept is most vividly expressed in the famous barong and keris dance.

For overnight stays we have a wide selection of Bali accommodation on offer.

Home to many beautifully adorned and sacred temples throughout the country, Bali villages hold many temple festivals and colourful ceremonies throughout each year. During the 16th Century, 9 great temples were built including the most famous, Pura Agung as well as the Mother Temple of Pura Besakih on Gunung Agung, the country's most sacred mountain.

Religion is of particular importance in Bali culture and there are many rituals and traditions observed annually including the passage of birth through puberty and into marriage then childbirth and eventually death and the afterworld as well as national celebrations such as Kuningan, Galungan and Nyepi, the national day of silence.

Art is interwoven with Bali culture on a daily basis within the unique form of Hindu religion known as Hindu Dharma. Said to be the closest form of religion and social structure in early Java, Hindu Dharma has come to be mixed with strange folklore and other beliefs although not all Balinese people have adopted this new hybrid of the religion. There are even isolated groups of peple known as Bali Aga who live in the mountains of Tenganan and Trunyan who practise their own ancient religion based upon animist beliefs.

However it seems the soul of Bali culture is anchored in religion and is expressed in works of art which have passionately been preserved century after century. During the 16th Century, early forms of Bali culture reached its peak and developed into elaborate forms of art and customs which were encouraged and became the foundation of modern Bali culture.