Bali, this small island in Indonesia must be familiar enough in the realm of tourists. Yes, the island is well-known for its beauty and culture. It makes Bali one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia and even in the world. Of course, it sounds good if before having a trip to the island, you learn about Balinese culture, tradition, and even local food. Therefore, your vacation can be more interesting and unforgettable.
Culture and tradition themselves are inherited from ancestors. If nowadays, people can still maintain them well, they can be unique and rare things. Balinese Culture is one of the groups of people who successfully maintain their ancient traditions and those are even relevant nowadays. So, are you interested to know about Bali culture and tradition? Read the following explanation.
Best Bali Culture and Tradition at 2023
Every area must have its own unique culture and tradition. However, many of them probably cannot be seen nowadays as the effect of cultural development and modernization. In Bali, some old traditions have actually disappeared. But don’t worry, you can still watch some of the typical culture and traditions.
Open Graveyard in Trunyan
Commonly, the bodies of dead people in Bali are being buried or cremated. It is based on the religious teaching of Hinduism. But in fact, not all Balinese culture implement them. In Trunyan Village Kintamani in Bali, there is a tradition where the bodies are not treated in such ways.
Instead of burying or cremating, the body of dead people is only put on the ground under Menyan trees. To sign the grave, the tomb is only made of bamboo pieces arranged like a random fence.
And here is the “magic” of this Balinese Culture and lifestyle. None of the bodies smells bad until finally there are only remains of the bones. How can it be? Thanks to Menyan trees that are very scented to blur the bad smell. The bones are taken and after a set of ceremonies, they are buried. Well, the uniqueness of the Graveyard in Trunyan Village makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bali.
Balinese people cremated the bodies of dead people with a traditional ceremony namely Ngaben. The body is put in a traditional coffin and burned while the audience says a prayer in Hinduism.
The meaning of Ngaben itself is bringing back the spirit to heaven, where it should be. It also implies the family’s sincerity to release someone they really love to go back to God.
Galungan and Kuningan
You can say that Galungan and Kuningan are the most popular traditions and Ceremonies in Bali. Both are related to each other anyway. Galungan is a ceremony to celebrate the creation of the universe. The ceremony is conducted in people’s houses and traditional temples.
On the other hand, Kuningan is a ceremony where people prepare offerings in yellow. Yes, Kuningan comes from the word kuning which means yellow. This tradition is conducted only a few days after Galungan.
The Mekare-Kare tradition is known also as the Pandan Battle. This is one of the religious festivals and Ceremonies in Bali conducted during the holy day of Ngusaba Kapat, usually in June in the front yard of Bale Agung. It is scheduled for 2 days and starts at 2 am.
The ritual has the purpose to honor Indra, the God of War. Indra is also the Supreme God for the realm of Hindu people in Bali, particularly those who live in the area of Tenganan. That’s why the village also becomes a famous tourist destination mainly for those who want to learn more about Balinese culture Hinduism and its traditions.
Omed-Omedan is a unique Balinese culture held in the city center of Denpasar. This annual ceremony is to celebrate the day of Ngembak Geni or lightening up the fire. The day of Ngembak Geni is a day after Nyepi. The tradition starts at 2 am and it is only for 2 hours.
Omed-Omedan is only for unmarried young people starting from 13 years old. The ceremony also means “tugging” in which boys and girls are tugging and they may kiss also. There is a belief that there will be bad incidents in the future if people don’t conduct the ceremony.
Yummy Balinese Foods to Taste During the Vacation
Enjoying the cultural places and stunning landscapes of Bali seems not complete without trying its traditional foods. Of course, Bali has many restaurants with a grade-A international menu. But to enrich your experience in Bali, some Balinese culture street foods below are worth trying.
Art Cafe Bumbu Bali
The best traditional at Art Cafe Bumbu Bali that you must taste while in Bali. An unforgettable culinary and cultural experience with tradition. They have a special menu, namely Sate Lilit and it is very delicious, different from other types of satay that you may have tasted. Sate lilit meat has been chopped and mixed with spices. Then, the minced meat is wrapped in a stick.
This satay itself is not made from coconut leaf segments like other types of satay, but rather lemongrass stems. In addition, the Balinese prefer to use pork or mackerel as their main ingredients. So, are you interested in tasting this one?
Ayam Betutu Khas Gilimanuk
Gilimanuk’s typical Betutu Chicken is a Balinese food with chicken as the main ingredient plus various types of spices to make it taste different from the others. Yes, to enrich the taste, you should use lime leaves, lemongrass, bay leaves, turmeric, ginger, shallots, garlic, candlenuts and others.
Since the taste of Ayam Betutu khas Gilimanuk tends to be very strong, it is recommended to enjoy it with rice. Aside from neutralizing the taste and flavor, undeniably, rice is indeed the staple food of Balinese culture and Indonesian people in general. But of course, it is not bad to eat it solely.
Nasi Jinggo Wikowi
Nasi Jinggo Wikowi, this type of the best local dishes in Balinese indeed sounds unique and strange. It is a set of dishes with rice as the staple food. Then when being served, nasi jinggo is surrounded by some side dishes like sate lilit, spicy red meat, noodle, spicy temple, and chili sauce.
The taste of nasi jinggo tends to be very spicy mainly in the main dishes. Meanwhile, the rice itself keeps plain to balance it all. Commonly, when someone orders nasi jinggo in a stall or restaurant, he or she will not order other menus. Sure, it is because nasi jinggo itself has been full of side dishes. But in case you want to add more side dishes, it is just good anyway.
Gula Bali The Joglo
If some of the regional dishes mentioned above are included in the main menu category, Gula Bali The Joglo is the best Balinese dessert. They have a special menu like rujak Buleleng is the dessert.. Yes, rujak Buleleng is made from fruits that are cut off into small pieces. Then, it is poured with a sauce made from brown sugar, chili, a little salt, banana, and some more.
In addition, rujak itself is not the typical dessert of Bali only. If you are visiting other places in Indonesia, you will get rujak very easily. What makes rujak Buleleng different from other rujaks is the banana. Yes, the banana is mashed and added to the sauce to enrich the taste. It also brings a typical flavor to increase your appetite.