A big part of exploring Bali for any kind of holiday is immersing in the culture.

Bali is the setting to a full calendar of all kinds of festivals from religious and ancient, to music and art.

A perfect way to add something special to your island getaway, you can get in among the crowds to learn something new and see some truly magical sights.

Held year round, across Bali, these are all the festivals in Bali that are worth checking out, if you can!

Regional and Religious Festivals in Bali

Ogoh-Ogoh Festival

When: During March (depending on the lunar calendar)

Where: Island-wide

On the evening before Nyepi (Bali’s unique silent day), the local banjars host huge parades of Ogoh-ogoh.

They are hand-crafted, paper mache statues depicting scary bhuta kala (evil creatures) that are danced through the streets at night.

Closing down main streets, it is an island-wide celebration that thousands of villages get involved in and even more people come to see. Each banjar prepares their own creature to showcase.

Often burned on the beach, or kept for show, the Ogoh-ogoh parade happens before Nyepi, when the island will shut down for a full 24 hours.



When: During March (depending on the lunar calendar)

Where: Banjar Kaja Sesetan, Denpasar

Not to be confused with Ogoh-ogoh, Omed-omedan is held just after Nyepi by the younger members of Banjar Kaja Sesetan.

Translating to ‘the kissing ritual’, groups of many young men and women gather together, tugging at each other almost like fighting. It is used to represent harmony and companionship, it is also a great place for singles to meet!

Towards the end, 2 representatives of both sides will be asked to kiss one another. The festival will end when the pecalang throw water over the crowds.


Galungan and Kuningan

When: Twice a year – during March or April, and October or November

Where: Island-wide

When you see the local Balinese starting to decorate the streets with penjor (towering bamboo decorations), it means Galungan is coming – swiftly followed by Kuningan.

It is when ancestral spirits are believed to come and leave the earth, as a symbol of victory of dharma over adharma (triumph of good over evil).

The festival will bring the whole family together to eat, pray and spend time together. It is considered one of the most important festivals in Bali for Balinese Hindus, with schools even taking a holiday for the entire period.

Galungan happens every 210 days and lasts for 10 days, ending with Kuningan on the last day of the holiday.


Sanur Village Festival

Photo: Sanur Village Festival

When: August

Where: Sanur Beach

Website: https://sanurvillagefestival.com/en/

An annual festival held for one week around August, the Sanur Village Festival was originally introduced shortly after the Bali bombing to encourage tourists back to the island.

It is filled with great events including kite flying competitions, water sport events, cultural performances, food markets and music.

A great place to get to know a little more about the culture of the island, and see something different, it is one of the best festivals in Bali to attend.


Nusa Dua Light Festival

When: 2024 dates TBC

Where: Jimbaran

Website: https://www.instagram.com/nusadualightfest/

The Nusa Dua Light Festival is all focused around lanterns and light.

Each year there is a different theme. In 2023 it was called ‘Rainbow Journey’ with lots of showcases based around colored lights.

As well as the light shows, there are also live performances, good stalls, games and rides.

It is a fun way to spend an evening with a date, your family or friends. It is something totally different that can’t be found elsewhere on the island.


Suwat Water Festival

When: Between late December and January

Where: Suwat Village, Gianyar

Similarly to the Songkran Festival in Thailand, Suwat Water is a Balinese-take on a spiritual water fight.

Throwing water over each other, the locals believe that they will wash away any bad that is clinging to their bodies. By splashing away the evil at the start of a new year, the Balinese hope for a fresh start.

A special sight for both locals and international tourists, it is unlike any other celebration on the island.

After a prayer, the water war begins – it’s all fun and games.

If you choose to watch, you can explore the village after and head to Suwat Waterfall.


Pemuteran Bay Festival

Photo: Pemuteran Bay Festival

When: Between October and November

Where: Pemuteran

Website: https://pemuteranbayfest.com/

Hidden away in the North of Bali, Pemuteran is a stunning place filled with nature, beaches and some of the best snorkeling on the island.

The Pemuteran Bay Festival is an annual event, drawing tourists to the area that might not usually visit. Focused on ecotourism, there are opportunities for beach cleaning, reef cleaning, biorock talks and getting to know more about the area.

There are plenty of events to enjoy throughout the festival including music performances, fishing contests, fun runs and yoga sessions.

Shining a light on the health of the reef and ways to improve the ocean’s health, it is a great festival in Bali for giving something back to the island.


Music Festivals in Bali

Ultra Bali

Photo: Ultra Bali

When: 2023 Dates TBC

Where: Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel

Tickets: https://ultrabali.com/

One of the biggest music festivals in Bali, Ultra often has a line up filled with famous international DJs.

Held at the Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel, looking over the beach, it is a super tropical setting for partying to some epic music.

Previous line ups have seen DJs like Afrojack, Alesso and John Summit take to the stage. Setting big expectations for years to come!

The tickets sell out fast to people all over the country heading to the island specially for the event – be sure you grab yours quickly!


Joyland Festival

Photo: Guswib (Joyland Festival)

When: 2024 Dates TBC

Where: Peninsula Island, Nusa Dua

Tickets: https://joylandfest.com/festival/bali-23/

Joyland Festival is a huge event that takes place once a year in Bali, and with other events in Jakarta.

A music festival showcasing local musicians and international acts, with touches of culture, comedy and cinema thrown in, it is a great place to spend a few days with friends, exploring the different areas and taking part in workshops.

Come along with the kids to listen to music, join fun art workshops and enjoy the tropical vibes that run throughout the festival.

If you only hit one music festival in Bali, Joyland is a great all-rounder.


Ubud Village Jazz Festival

Photo: Ubud Village Jazz Festival

When: 28-29 July 2023

Where: Sthala Ubud

Tickets: https://ubudvillagejazzfestival.com/

There’s nothing like listening to smooth, melodic jazz music in the jungle.

The Ubud Village Jazz Festival is an opportunity to see local talent doing what they do best, shredding on their instruments.

Held over 2 days during the summer, the line up is full of local and international musicians who are ready to show off their skills.


Bali Rockin Blues Festival

Photo: Bali Rockin Blues Festival

When: 2024 Dates TBC

Where: Mertasari Sanur Bali Gate

Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/balibluesfest

Want to jam out to some blues on the beach? Bali Rockin Blues Festival is an amazing event held in Sanur over 2 days.

With acts from all over Indonesia, and the world, it is a get together of all the blues lovers on the island.

Enjoy beach vibes and great music at this Bali festival!


Art and Cultural Festivals in Bali

Bali Arts Festival

When: 18 June-16 July, 2023

Where: Werdhi Budaya Culture Center

Website: https://www.balitravelhub.com/events/bali-arts-festival/

The purpose of Bali Arts Festival is to preserve the Balinese art and culture that makes the island so unique.

With a series of art exhibitions, seminars, competitions and parades, you can immerse and learn more about Balinese culture in the most entertaining way.

Try authentic Balinese food, have front row seat to dance performances, and get to know the island on a different level.


Ubud Writers and Readers Festival

Photo: Ubud Writers and Readers Festival

When: 18-22 October, 2023

Where: Ubud

Website: https://www.ubudwritersfestival.com/

The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival is a long awaited festival for creatives in Bali.

Over 4 days writers showcase their works to the crowds of fellow writers, readers and creatives.

Held in October, it is a celebration of local and international talent, assisted by volunteers and island-famed influencers.

There are even political discussions, and talks about local issues. It is a great event for getting to be part of a community.


Ubud Food Festival

Photo: Ubud Food Festival

When: 30 June-2 July, 2023

Where: Taman Kuliner, Ubud

Website: https://www.ubudfoodfestival.com/

Calling all food lovers! This is one of the festivals in Bali you don’t wanna miss! Ubud Food Festival is the door to enter the world of Indonesian gastronomy.

Cooking demos, food bazaars, cooking classes, it is an amazing showcase of authentic Indonesian dishes.

Along with the amazing chefs you will find restaurant owners, food entrepreneurs, farmers and culinary activists.

Immerse in the world of food in the most enticing and interesting way.


Bali Kite Festival

When: August, 2023

Where: Sanur

You’ll see kites dotting the sky all year round, especially near the local villages.

The Bali Kite Festival is an accumulation of all the kite lovers on the island, coming together to challenge each other to a fight. Groups of 70 to 80 people are on a team, representing their banjar in the festival.

In all different shapes and sizes, accompanied by traditional gamelan music and huge crowds, the kite festival is used to thank the Hindu Gods for an abundant harvest of crops.

For a mix of culture, adrenaline and sport, the Bali Kite Festival is a fun festival to check out.


Bali Spirit Festival

Photo: Bali Spirit Festival

When: 2024 Dates TBC

Where: The Yoga Barn, Ubud

Website: https://www.balispiritfestival.com/

A combination of yoga, music, dance and healing, the Bali Spirit Festival is a beautiful way to immerse in the healing culture of the island.

Over 4 days there are workshops, activities and classes, as well as talks about social impacts on Bali.

It is a zero waste festival so bring along your own water bottle!

Book some accommodation nearby and join in the festivities for the full 4 days!

Final Thoughts

The beauty of Bali is that there are so many different ways to learn about the culture, join the community and explore the island.

Attending festivals in Bali, be it a cultural festival or music performance, is a great addition to a fun-filled vacation, and something extra to look forward to.


Featured image: Bali Festival