Monday, July 4, 2011

The World Celebrates in July

When tourism took off in 1965 in Bali, the Balinese decided they wanted tourism to exist solely through culture. The saying "tourism should be for Bali instead of Bali for tourism" stemmed from that very idea. The desire for cultural tourism brought about many holidays in festivals including The Bali Arts Festival and The Bali International Kite Festival

Like Independence Day in the United States, both these festivals take place in July. The Bali Arts Festival is a full month of daily performances, handicraft exhibitions, and other culture-heavy activities. This month is filled with spectacular sights and sounds of Balinese dance, music, and decorations. Throughout the villages of Bali music and dance groups compete in contests at the district level. From there the seka, or cultural groups, are selected and organized at the regency level to perform the Arts Festival, displaying the uniqueness of their villages and ancestors to a large audience. Many of the performances are held at the amphitheater which can hold up to 6,000 spectators, in a temple-like stage. Many schools for dance and music have been built since the creation of the Bali Arts Festival. 
Like the Bali Arts Festival, the Bali International Kite Festival stems from Balinese culture and the desire for cultural tourism. The Bali International Kite Festival is an annual kite festival held in July in the Padang Galak area, Sanur Beach, Bali. The event is a religious festival intended to send the Hindu Gods a message to create abundant harvests. The competition consists of 10 teams, each team competing for the best launch and longest flight time. There are 3 traditional kites, the Bebean, or fish-shaped kite, the Janggan, or bird-shaped kite, and the Pecukan, or leaf-shaped kite. Kites traditionally 5 meters in width and 10 meters in length are made and flown by teams from the villages of Denpasar. Red, white, and black are the traditional colors of this festival. Tourists flock from around the world to watch and participate in this fun filled festival! 

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