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Occasionally international musicians, after an Asian tour, may drop into Bali on their final leg. The island inspires a great many musicians, artists and writers, all of whom have at one time or another fallen in love with its magical charm. Whoever drops in, there’s an endless calendar of ‘only-in-Bali’ types of events.

March: BaliSpirit Festival

It wouldn’t be Bali without a celebration of yoga, dance and spiritual awakenings. The BaliSpirit Festival is an annual gathering of world music and well-being, with healing huts, soul-dancing, meditation, chanting and breathing workshops, over five days in March. 

March: Melasti

Three days prior to Nyepi (the day of silence), colourful processions for Melasti take place. Beginning at temples all over the island, villagers walk to the coastline in beautiful, uniformed traditional dress for purification ceremonies. Stunning Balinese parasols glitter above the throng on the island’s beaches. Make sure your camera is fully charged.

March / April: Day of Silence

Each year, around March or April depending on the stages of the moon, Bali shuts down completely for 24 hours for Nyepi, the Day of Silence (also Bali’s New Year). No lights, no noise, even the airport closes and no one leaves their house. Hotels are permitted minimal lighting, although if you’re able to stay in a small villa, the silence is truly golden and it’s a truly unique experience.

March / April: Ogoh Ogoh

The day prior to Nyepi the locals make as much noise as possible to attract the evil spirits in the form of an Ogoh Ogoh parade. Each village creates monstrous epitaphs which are carried through the streets in an invigorating explosion of drums and gamelan. In stark contrast, the next 24 hours are in total silence, meant to confuse the bad spirits so they leave. 

May: Ubud Food Festival

Another recent addition to its annual calendar, the island launched the Ubud Food Festival in 2015. Celebrated Indonesian and Asian chefs spend three days tantalising the taste buds, with workshops, cooking demonstrations and master classes that will leave foodies drooling. 

June: Bali Arts Festival

Dedicated to Bali’s traditional and contemporary arts, the annual Bali Arts Festival in June combines the best of Bali’s unique culture over three full days. Each of the island’s regencies are represented in displays of dance dramas, gamelan orchestral performances, and creative handcrafts. Opening parade begins in front of the Taman Werdhi Budaya Arts Centre in Denpasar.

July & August: Bali Kites Festival

Between the months of July and August, in Bali’s glorious winter months, the tradewinds create the perfect platform for flying kites. The skies above the island are littered with kites; huge, gigantic creations up to five metres in width, and some kite-tails reaching 100 metres or more in length. The formal kite festival event takes place on the beach in Padang Galak, just north of Sanur.

August: White Party

Seminyak’s hippest hangout, Ku De Ta, holds an annual White Party, where the island’s beautiful people come together to celebrate the chic and trendy side of island life with find food, drinks and live music. Usually in August, but check the website for details. All are welcome, as long as you’re dressed in, you guessed it, white.

August: Sanur Food Festival

As part of the Sanur Village Festival, which usually takes place during August, the Sanur Food Festival brings local restaurants and bars together, each with its own small outlet, accompanied by live music, local dance and entertainment. Expats and locals celebrate the quieter side of the island in real community spirit.

September: ULTRA Beach Bali

Global electronic music festival organisers, ULTRA, launched an annual ULTRA Beach Bali event in 2015 at Seminyak party hangout, Potato Head Beach Club. Get your fluorescent wristbands out and bop away under the Bali stars.

October: Ubud Readers & Writers Festival

Author Elizabeth Gilbert – of Eat, Pray, Love fame – is possibly the most known author inspired by Bali, but there’s been loads more. Others such as Hickman Powell’s The Last Paradise, and Colin McPhee’s A House in Bali, have included the Island of the Gods in their works. Writers still flock here for the Ubud Readers & Writers Festival, where local and international authors gather to celebrate bold ideas, creative thinking and the written word.