Do you know how Balinese people celebrate Halloween? When I started to think about how the Balinese celebrate Halloween I also started to wonder if they celebrate this event at all. As you may know Halloween originally comes from Ireland. The Irish very quickly introduced Halloween to the USA. In Ireland and USA, Halloween is a really big and crazy event nowadays. What about Bali? Is it a big event in Bali as well?
If Bali didn’t have tourism, the Balinese people probably wouldn’t know what Halloween was. If you ever find yourself stuck in an explanation about Halloween try this: Explain to the Balinese people that Halloween parties are like the crazy parties in Bali the night before Nyepi. Nyepi is the Hindu New Year and the most important day in Hinduism. The night before Nyepi the Balinese go crazy with “Oga Oga” (scary floats) for the reason that they want to frighten the evil spirits away. On the day after (Nyepi, 9th March 2016) you need to stay in the house and be very quiet; otherwise the evil spirits will come back and will possess you. You can compare these crazy and scary nights with the Halloween nights.
However, Halloween is as a typical Western Tradition. For the Balinese people, Halloween has nothing to do with their religion. Due to growing tourism and the big western influence, Bali has started celebrating Halloween in some way. The international restaurants and hotels are getting crazy about Halloween and are starting costume parties with great prizes for the scariest Halloween costume. The most famous parties always take place on the Saturday before Halloween. Hard Rock Café for example celebrate a whole Halloween Day!
If you search for a scary Halloween costume go to a famous dressmaker. The dressmakers in common touristic cities know this western tradition. Just show them a picture of the costume you would like to have (and maybe bring them the material as well if it is something special) and they will tailor it for you.
If you want to score a scary face into a pumpkin you should not search for a normal pumpkin. Try to buy a ‘labu parang’ – it’s an Indonesian pumpkin with the shape of the common known pumpkin – although the color is a little bit different.
The great thing about Halloween in Bali is that if you find the right place to celebrate it is definitely a great experience. For the reason that Halloween has nothing to do with the religion of the Balinese people they find themselves enjoying this night a lot. They feel more relaxed because it’s not a part of their religion; so there is no need for them to be serious that night.
What’s about you? Are you a Halloween fan? Have you ever celebrated Halloween in a scary costume in Bali? Share your story with Blue Season Bali!