Bali Villas as offered by holiday booking companies like Easy Bali Villas are growing in popularity on a global scale. They are normally furnished to world standards and fitted with the latest amenities such as flat screen TV’s, stainless steel kitchen appliances among others. Moreover, the fact that they are in a safe and tranquil place in South East Asia is one other reason behind the increase in popularity. The minimum requirement in terms of amenities you will get at all these Balinese villas is swimming pools and patios, if you want a little more luxury, you get an infinity pool, spa and steam bath among others.
Most of these villas are located near the seashore, and their patios extend right up to the point where they touch the shallowest parts of the sea. The villas are also fitted with a number of top incorporated services designed specifically for you as you wait for the Galungan Festival, Bali’s most important religious festival. This festival celebrates the victory of good over evil. It also honors the spirits and memories of all Balinese ancestors.
How do you typically celebrate New Year’s? With fireworks, cheering, horns, loud music, parties, and general hubbub? Well, in Bali, they celebrate Hindu New Year (Saka), which is done just the opposite – it’s called “Nyepi”, the day of absolute silence!
Like some religious holidays on western calendars, Nyepi is observed somewhere in either March or April, so you have to check with a local authority for the exact date. Tourism matters, such as airport activity and stores, will be closed. In fact, the entire island shuts down for the day, with the only activity being for strict emergencies. It’s almost eerie how quiet it is. Even the police enforce this, urging citizens not to play music or bustle about to much.
What on Earth is going on? The idea is that evil spirits come once a year to Bali looking for trouble, but if you fool them into thinking that Bali is entirely uninhabited, they’ll move on to somewhere else and leave Bali alone for another year. No really, that’s the rationale! Tourists should avoid this holiday in most cases, but if you can manage to be there for it, it is one of the most unique cultural experiences you can find. But please be respectful, as this is one of their most important holidays!
Tourists at a Balinese luxury resort will frequently be invited to watch some local live shows.
These take the form of traditional dance ceremonies performed the same way for centuries, all of them having some significance. There’s a good variety of these and they all have their own little cultures.
Here’s a few of the kind you’re most likely to encounter:
Barong – The “lion dance”. It’s kind of a passion play about the fight between good and evil. Done with lion masks and a lot of visual spectacle. Barong dances tend to be performed in just about any tourist stop in Bali, so it’s not hard to find one.
Calonarang – A darker, more spiritual dance about casting out evil spirits. Be respectful when you see this one, because it has significance in Balinese spiritualism. There is a witch-queen character called “Rangda” who figures in the story, so look out for her.
Kecak – The “monkey dance”. As Balinese as the monkey temple itself, this dance goes to the roots of the animism branch of spirituality. Nevertheless, it’s an eye-popping spectacle with up to 250 chanting dancers in concentric circles.
Legong Keraton – The canonical historic dance of Indonesia, this one dates back to the 12th century at least. It is performed by young girls and is about young nymphs in breathtakingly beautiful costumes. Shorter versions are performed specifically for tourists, but treat yourself to a full-length version.