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Entries in bali dance (5)


Bali Photo of the Day ~ Ritual Stabbing at Traditional Dance

Hello Balifornians!
Today we feature a powerful shot of a mass ritual self stabbing during a traditional dance. They don't really hurt themselves as this is more of a demonstration, but there are sacred events in Bali and Indonesia during the year where serious pain (and sometimes lasting damage) is done during holy festivals.

Balinese Traditional Dance and Rituals

Bali Traditional ritual danceThis Traditional Dance from Bali features a ritual self mutilation
The men are stabbing themselves with a mock up of a holy kris or spiritual dagger.  You can see a Mankgu or Hindu Priest blessing the daggers (Kris) here.
Want to submit your photo for the Bali Tour Photo of the Day?  Simply send your photograph in JPEG format and a description to  Files must be under 500 kb.


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Bali Photo of the Day ~ Hindu Priest Blesses Holy Daggers

Today's Bali photograph comes from a traditional dance performance.

Men gather with their kris (sacred dagger) to have it blessed by the Mangku (Hindu Priest).

Bali photography tour danceA Hindu Priest in Bali blesses the holy daggers of the men

If you have a great photo of Bali or Indonesia and want to submit it the The Bali Photo of The Day, just send an email to

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Bali Arts Festival 2012

Bali Art TourPesta Kesenian Bali, The 34th annual Bali Arts Festival 2012

The 34th annual Bali Arts Festival

The 34th annual Bali Arts Festival or Pesta Kesenian Bali is currently taking place in Denpasar, Bali. We have had the esteemed pleasure to participate and we wanted to thank Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika and his staff for their generosity and hospitality both at The Bali Arts Festival and at his private residence. We would also like to thank the staff of The Bali Arts Festival for their hospitality.


The Bali Arts Festival lasts for a full month and showcases the classical and contemporary art and culture of Bali. Fine art, dance, craft, music, culinary and more are selected from villages around Bali and given a national stage in which to exhibit thier expertice.

Bali Art Festival travelBali Governor Made Mangku Pastika, Artist Made Wianta and Professor Michael Doliveck before the presentation Indonesia's most celebrated contemparary artist Made Wianta was on hand and always creates excitement. Made Wianta was born in Tabanan, Bali and has created thousands of artworks. He is known worldwide for his bold and kenetic paintings but he is also an accomplished poet and beleives deeply in envirenmental awareness and social responsibility. His mastery of color and form are showcased in his powerful multimedia paintings and instilations. We would like to thank him and his family for thier continued support, friendship and generosity.

Bali tour art villaBali Governor Made Mangku Pastika's speech at the presentationBali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika made an impassioned speech at the presentation about the importance of the traditional arts of Bali and preserving the culture of this small island with a big presence. Joining The Governer on the deus are Burat Wangi, Intan Kirana Wianta and Putu Maryam Doliveck.

Bali traditional art danceBali's Governor signs some artworkBali's Governor I Made Mangku Pastika signs some of the artist's artwork after the presentation.

Bali Arts Festival 2012 celebrating the traditional culture and arts of Bali

Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika, Indonesia's most famous artist Made Wianta, and Professor Michael Doliveck share a jovial moment after the presentation.

Thanks again to all who helped to make this a special day. 


A brief history of Bali ~ Balifornian Tours and Travel Blog

Written by Ghulam Mohsin.  Image by Balifornian Tours and Travel Blog

Bali is a tropical island, eight degrees south of the Equator, in the heart of the Indonesian archipelago. Because of its rich history, culture and arts - dances, sculptures and paintings - beautiful beaches, nature and tropical climate, Bali is thought to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Due to its many temples and pagodas it's also known as "The Island of the thousand temples". Its capital is Denpasar and its moto "Bali Dwipa Jaya" - "The Island of success Bali".

The island is 153 kilometers long and 112 km wide, giving a total area of 5633 km2. Its highest point is Mount Agung (3 142 m), which is actually an active volcano; last known to erupt in March 1963. The main cities on the island are Singaradja - a port in the west part and of course the capital Denpasar. The city of Ubud, west of Denpasar, is considered as the cultural center of Bali with its many art shops, museums and galleries.

As compared to the Islamic Indonesia, Bali stands out with its ethnos, culture and religion. The population of the island is around three million, ninety three percent of which are Hindi and the rest are Muslim. The interesting fact is that, unlike India, the cow is not a sacred animal here. The most important economic feature in Bali is the agriculture and rice in particular but a substantial number of the people are also fishermen. The cities of Kuta, Sanur, Djibaran, Seminiak and the renovated Nusa Dua are important tourist attractions.

The people of Bali are descendants of tribes, which come to the Indonesian archipelago from Asia around 25th century BC. Around the 1st century BC the Hindi come from India and mark the end of the prehistoric era. In 5th century AC an independent Buddhist kingdom is established on the island until the 11th century AC when Bali is conquered by the Hindi kingdom of Madjapahit from the island of Java through a royal marriage between the king of Bali Udajana and the princess of east Java Mahendradata. This union joined Hinduism and Budhism, mixing in the primitive animistic beliefs and personifications of ancestors by deities.

Europeans first discover Bali in 1597 when the Portuguese ship of the Dutch adventurer Cornelius de Houtman anchored on the shores of Bukit. After several consecutive wars (1846-1849) the Dutch finally conquer the island. During World War II it's invaded by Japan and becomes part of the Republic of East Indonesia, later known as United Indonesia. In 1965 the supporters of the communist party are brutally murdered after an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the government. On October 12th 2002 a terrorist attack kills 202 people, mostly tourists in the town of Kuta.

Today, Bali is known for its Bali dances, scluptures, paintings and wood carving. The Hindu New Year, curiously, is in the spring, and is called "Nyepi". It's marked with silence and everyone, including tourists, remain at their homes or hotels. The Bali people believe that the left hand is impure so they use only their right for major things like eating, waving or giving/receiving things. The most widely used languages on the island are Bali and Indonesian, although most of sculpturestion speaks English because of the many tourists. After all, Bali received the Best Island Travel and Leisure award for 2010 given out by the US magazine Travel and Leisure

Bali Travel Blog


Some basics on Bali and its Culture

Bali Culture

Bali is an Indonesian island that is rich in indigenous culture. A lot pf people say that Bali culture is unique and that the people of Bali have always been contented with the "now." If you ask a Balinese person what heaven is like, the probable answer will be "just like Bali". This only goes to show that most Balinese people are happy to be where they are and never worry.

One factor that contributes to this laidback lifestyle is the culture of close family ties in Bali. In the Balinese culture, support is always available. Balinese extended families are so tightly knit that all members usually reside in the same complex.

Hinduism is one of the main religions in Bali. The Bali culture is based on a form of this religion, which is called "Hindu Darma". This religion reached the island during the eleventh century. Most of the family customs and traditions as well as community lifestyles of the Balinese people are influenced by this. The religious influence even expands widely into the arts, which makes Bali distinct from the rest of Indonesia.

In spite of the influx of tourists to the island, Balinese people have managed to preserve their culture. Almost every native of Bali is an artist in some form or another. Parents and villagers have passed on their skills to their children, who all seem to have inclinations either to music, dance, painting, and decor.

Another remarkable mark of the Bali culture is the series of ceremonies and rituals known as the Manusa Yadnya. This marks the different stages of Balinese life. Cremation is very popular on this island - and unlike in the West, death is a joyous and colorful event for the Balinese.

Indeed, Bali has a rich culture, making it distinctive from the rest of the islands in Indonesia.