Bali Culture — Kissing Day
Pucker up it’s Kissing Day!
We have many many ceremonies and special days in Bali but one of the most bizarre is the Kissing day. Known as Omed Omedan (meaning ‘to pull’) the kissing day takes place the day after Nyepi – the day of silence in a village called Sesetan in Denpasar.
This ritual of the kissing day is over 100 years old but it was once stopped in the 1980’s, after which a plague struck the area, causing pigs to fight each other. The ritual was quickly resumed, as it is believed that this annual festival prevents disaster from descending upon the village.
Like all special days in Bali the kissing day starts with prayer in the village’s Banjar temple, followed by a Barong performance that takes place on the road, during the ceremony the Gambelan is played.
The bachelors and bachelorettes aged between 17 and 30 gather on the area’s main street. Divided into two groups (men and women), they will take position and face each other; at a given signal, both sides will approach to the centre of the street, and male participants will pull and kiss the female participants while the rest of the villagers in the audience pour buckets of water over them. The spiritual aspect of this ritual is that the pull and pull represent the taking of positive energy and the letting out the negative energy.
The ceremony has also become a successful platform for the singles to find their future partner.
Omed Omedan normally takes place at around 2pm the day after Nyepi and visitors are welcome but advised to protect your camera with a waterproof housing as there will be water sprayed everywhere right in the centre of the crowd.
To experience some of the unique Bali culture for yourself, check out our Diving Indo land tours.