Philippine festivals for traveling foodies

What makes a place excel among those of its kind? Could it be the people? Could it be the sands? Could it be the accommodations? Could it be the scenery, the food, the specialty craft? Or could it be its people? The answer is that all of these contribute to making a place make a name for itself. And all these are also present in Bali.

Bali, with all its Seminyak Bali villas, has consistently won several international competitions for being the best tourist destination in the world. And why can’t this be? Bali is blessed with a beautiful scenery, as place perfect for vacationing or for weddings. The Bali Seminyak villas provide accommodations that feel homey yet luxuriously designed. The people are warm and hospitable. The beaches have powdery white sand and the waves perfect for any surf lover. But most of all, Bali is also home to many Bali festivals.

Yes, Bali is a place where visitors and tourists abound. But it is also a place where the people are religious and are celebrating a number of festivals in Bali each year. And when one is in Bali, it pays to know the festivals going on not only to join in the fun but also to pay respect to their beliefs and traditions.

Bali festival starts even before the child is born. In Bali, even when the child is still in the mother’s womb, particular on the 6th month, a ceremony is held where offerings are being made. Called the pegedong-pegedong, its purpose is to ensure the baby’s health and well being.

As soon as the child is born, its afterbirth is wrapped in a white cloth and placed in a coconut and then buried in a spot just outside the house of its parents. Certain ceremonies are being conducted on this spot for some period of time.

Balinese people believe that the mother and child are still unclean between the 12th and 42nd day after delivery. To cleanse them, ceremonies are conductive that will make them worthy to participate in ceremonies.

It is only on the 105th day of the baby where he is given his name and then welcomed into the world.

From the day the baby is born up to the day before his first birthday or 210th day (according to the Balinese calendar), the baby has to be carried around all the time, preventing him from touching the ground as this is believed to be dirty. Only on his birthday will he be allowed to touch the ground for the first time.

On the day the child loses his milk teeth, the ceremony to withdraw from the protection of the gods is performed. From this day, it is the responsibility of the family to protect the child.

• Tooth Filling Marriage. Before a Balinese gets married, he first undergoes the painful process of tooth filling. The idea is done by filing the sharp edges of the person’s canine tooth. And by doing so, it is believed that together with eliminating the sharp edges, drunkenness, lust, greed, and anger are also removed.

Marriage is done after the tooth filling is undergone. People in Bali get married relatively earlier than those people from other continents.

• Cremation. When a Balinese dies, people rejoice because they believe that when the deceased loved one is cremated, his soul is freed and continues its journey to heaven.

In this ceremony, a colorful tower will contain the body of the deceased and this is turned several times in order to ensure that the deceased’s soul never comes back home. Once they reach the temple, a sarcophagus is used to contain the body for cremation.

• Bali Nyepi. It is a ritual that is aimed at purification. On this day, the entire Bali island figuratively and literally stops. All activities are put on hold, the people (even the tourists) stay indoors. No activity happens. The airports and seaports do not accept any arrivals and departures. It is a time of complete silence for the whole island. It is believed that this first day of the new year is a day of cleansing and will lead the succeeding days to also be clean.

These are just among the many festivals in Bali. No wonder it is a place of culture, beauty, and traditions.

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