Visit from home and fullmoon ceremony
Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 2009-03-08 12:00 by Laerke
Bali in March is busy! The Balinese New Year is approaching and the month of March is full of holidays, colorful parades and religious ceremonies, we have bought our own traditional Balinese outfits so that we can take part in all the festivities, if you want to enter a temple in Bali you must wear at least a sarong.

In the beginning on the month Kasper and Pernille, our friends from Denmark who are currently living in Australia, paid us a visit. It was great to see them again and we had fun feeding the monkeys in the famous monkey forest in Ubud and sampling various kinds of Balinese beer and spirits. We also caught a Kecak performance and spend a day by the beach. Unfortunately they could only stay a week and before we knew they were on their way back to Brisbane.

We were also saying goodbye to Tippe, Anom, Siwi and Gaya, who unfortunately had to go back to Denmark before time. We didn’t get to see them as much as we wanted, but time flies away here, and suddenly we were having farewell dinner. We will miss them all, those cute girls and their sweet smiles are hard not to adore.

On March 10th it was full moon which is very important to the Balinese, so the main temple in Denpasar is a hype of activities all night long; people keep milling in to pray and leave offerings. We dressed up to our best abilities in sarong, kebaya, udeng – all the traditional clothes, kindly borrowed to us by my friend’s hostfamily. The atmosphere in the temple was ceremonious with row after row of people praying. In the middle of the compound, in front of the “chair” for the gods, the offerings were pilling high and incense filled the air. Over us the full moon was beaming bright.

Outside the temple however there was an air of carnival, with lots of little stands selling snacks and softdrinks, someone had set up a game where you can win cigarettes by throwing a ring around a pack. Wyang Kulit (Balinese shadow Puppet Theater) was being preformed. We bought bakso (meatball soup) and sat down to do a bit of people spotting, we quickly discovered that the way we were dressed apparently is pretty old fashioned... A lot of young people were hanging out outside the temple all wearing their sarongs in very creative ways. The next day we went shopping so that we won’t look so hopelessly old fashioned next time we venture out in “traditional” Balinese outfits. I just hope we can figure out how to tie those sarongs just the right way...