Balinese culture and traditions
Heading to Bali and looking for an adventurous day trip? You can’t miss a day (or two!) discovering some of Bali’s best hidden gems a little off the beaten track – waterfalls. No matter where you’re based, we’ve sourced the best waterfalls worth visiting on your next trip to the island paradise.
The Balinese people follow a form of Hinduism known as Agama Hindu Dharma. Balinese culture and traditions religion impacts almost every aspect of life on the island and draws people to Bali to see and experience it. An important belief of Balinese Hinduism is that elements of mother nature are influenced by spirit. Our Viceroy team proudly discuss Balinese traditions in this video, as featured on Access Luxury (Amazon Prime).
There are over 20,000 Hindu temples in Bali (known as “pura”) – each with a specific function and rituality for the Balinese calendar year of 250 days. The different types of Balinese temples are arranged according to the physical and spiritual realm of Balinese Hinduism – from Pura Tirta “water temples” for cleansing rituals to Pura Segara “sea temples” that are located by the ocean to appease the sea Gods and deities. There are also village and family temples in Bali that are important parts of Balinese culture and traditions in that they provide places for the community to congregate and enjoy festivities. Check out what we think are the 7 best Bali temples to visit on your holiday.
To know Balinese culture and traditions intimately requires an understanding of the philosophy of Tri Hita Karana “Three Causes of Goodness”, which is the origin of the Balinese belief system. It is centered on maintaining a harmonious relationship with God, people and nature. Once aware, this becomes easily identifiable in the Balinese way of life, architecture, agriculture and tradition. It is believed that the wisdom of living true to these elements brings about prosperity and harmony.
Every important event in human life is always followed by particular ceremony, for example there are Balinese ceremonies for birth, puberty, maturity, marriage or death, then there are ceremonies on important holidays in the 250-day Balinese calendar such as Nyepi (day of silence), Galungan and Kuningan or ceremonies connected with natural phenomena (like a full moon). With these ceremonies and daily rituals, people are connecting with the gods, ancestors, families and community.
The offerings (sesajen) are made of agricultural products and are offered to these spirits daily. They are believed to maintain peace and balance on earth. The offering is more than a colourful hand woven box to locals and understanding this as a tourist can be powerful. Temples and rituals are part of why Bali culture is as special now as it was a thousand years ago, and as the only predominantly Hindu island in the Indonesian archipelago, it has such a unique offering for visitors.