Stellar Travel’s Denise Larson recently made a whirlwind trip to Bali, visiting many of the 5-star hotels with stops at some of the best sites and temples Bali has to offer. Check out Denise’s review of a few of those hotels here.
She also brought back 5 fun facts about Bali!
Bali has only two seasons: The dry season (April to October) and the wet season (October to April). But overall the temperature remains moderate as Bali enjoys a tropical climate. The wet season is very humid and the dry season is very dry and almost desert-like.
Bali is an island of a thousand Gods. Combining Hinduism with some Buddhist mythology, ancestral spirits, animism, (black) magic and indigenous deities, Balinese Hinduism has a higher than average number of gods. This complex belief system results in an island with more than 20,000 shrines (pura), which is why it’s called the Island of the Gods.
The Balinese have 3-5 calendars they use to tell the date, and to chart religious holidays, they are always consulting their calendars!
Besides our western calendar, there are two main calendars:
Pawukon Calendar which only has 210 days per year. According to this calendar, each year is divided into six months and one month is 35 days.
There is also another main calendar used in Bali called Sasih and it is a 12 lunar month calendar.
There is one day per year when the entire island system shuts down, this is the first day each year of the Pawukon Calendar and is called “Silent Day” or Neypi day. Everyone is required by law to stay at home and stay silent. No one is allowed to work, travel, use electricity, or speak. Even the airport is shut down. People spend this day meditating and self – reflecting. This year Silent Day falls on March 7th. Good for tourists to know, as no one is allowed on the streets that day and no services are provided.
While the whole world keeps choosing unique baby names, Bali people already know their baby’s name even before they are born. This is because all Balinese people have only four different first names, that get assigned by the order of the child’s birth.
- First baby – Wayan
- Second baby – Made
- Third baby – Nyoman and
- Fourth baby – Ketut
- The fifth baby repeats again with Wayan and the rest follows in cycle.
Each child takes their father’s last name, and the parents can choose a middle name that is unique.
You may ask how they keep everyone straight there, particularly in school, that’s because everyone gets known by their middle + last name, to tell them apart, but on their passport, their first name will always be one of the 4 names above.
Because of their belief system, and fear of evil spirits, Balinese babies are not allowed to touch the ground until they are 3 months old, and have to be carried everywhere until then.
The practice derives from a belief of reincarnation and that newborns are still close to the sacred realm from which they came and therefore deserve to be treated with God-like veneration.
80% of Bali’s economy depends on tourism, so we hope to see you soon in BALI!