Festival Season Wraps Up!

The bi-annual Balinese ten-day festivals of Galungan to Kuningan just wrapped up over the weekend… though thankfully the penjors stay aloft for another month, and the offerings continue to proliferate daily all over the island.

Here’s a montage, a smorgasbord of pix from this festival season:IMG_1815IMG_1799IMG_1810IMG_1802IMG_1838IMG_1837IMG_1828IMG_1860IMG_1979IMG_1866

Offerings galore: I remain mesmerized, eyes directed upwards then gazing down, at the beautiful creations that materialize – in front of my eyes, sometimes in the unlikeliest of places.IMG_1836IMG_1825IMG_1829IMG_1839IMG_1857IMG_1848IMG_1840IMG_1965IMG_1970IMG_1969IMG_1824IMG_1862

I went for a swim, then tried to save a dragonfly I noticed sunbathing (not quite) on a chair nearby; it was futile, he lost the wind in his wings. Then his flutter dwindled to nothing… so I returned him to nature.IMG_1949IMG_1952

Conversed with a trespassing cat…IMG_1961

I rarely frequent Starbucks, but surprised that it was open, I walked in, then gave Dani the server a big tip because I felt sorry he had to work instead of spending the holy day with family.IMG_1992

Binh taught me how to cook one of her favorite Indonesian dishes, plecing kankung (water spinach with tomato/garlic/candlenut/shallot/lemon leaf sauce). It was a feast for us all.IMG_1995IMG_2001

The streets were quieter than usual, only a few degrees shy of what it must have looked like on Nyepi (Day of Silence)… even the dogs took the opportunity to rest and watch the world barely passing by.

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The rowdy boys of Padangtegal village took full advantage of permission given to create as much noise as possible for their festival-related Barong Ngelawang processions through town. Carrying gongs, cymbals and one of them wearing a toy barong, these kids meander through streets performing and collecting money. These barong-barongan are part of a ritual tradition, and boy do they know how to have fun!

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I was treated to a dish of pisang lawi, a local treat whipped up by Ibu, one that I’d never tasted before. Served on the bale, with coffee and conversation 😉IMG_1870

While walking through Penestanan, I heard a loud whirring sound, and my eyes shot up to the electrical cables, thinking that the wires were abuzz. IMG_1976

Nothing gone awry with the cables. This was the culprit, a male cicada making noise with ‘vibrating membranes’ on its abdomen. IMG_1973

I spotted a couple of boys who suddenly turned from laughter to utter inexplicable seriousness, but allowed me to take their photo nonetheless:

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And in the end.. it rained, it poured, it totally monsooned.

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Still, this holiday season, so filled with color, ceremony, costume, music, prayer, ritual and treats could, I think, be best summed up in this one image – probably my favorite of the bunch:

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