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Omed-Omedan 2019

The kissing festival for the singles

Omed-Omedan in Bali - Best Time
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© Calvin Damas Emil

What could be more exciting than a crowd of unmarried guys and girls of 17 to 30 years kissing on the streets? The kissing festival takes place on the day after Nyepi (Saka New Year) and is a fun dating strategy. Literally meaning "pull-pull", omed-omedan is a ceremony when boys stay on one side of the road, and girls—on the other. The boys then run to the girls, pull them and kiss, while other people in the crowd pour water on them. The water pouring is a very important feature not only due to its fun, but it is also believed that this will cool the heat and tension down between the kissers!

This ritual has helped many couples to meet and start dating. The Omed Omedan usually starts at around 2pm. If you want to observe it, arrive early to secure good viewing position. Protect your camera or any other electronic devices as there will be water everywhere. Apart of the festival there will also be a street bazaar with lots of traditional food and crafts. Live music and funny performances will entertain the crowd before the ritual begins.

It is believed that the ritual has existed for at least 100 years. Originally it was only practiced by the people of Banjar Kaja Sesetan village. It was a ceremony for the young of the village to rejoice on the first day of the new year. Nyepi - the previous day - is also often called The Day of Silence. It is prohibited to light fires or even electricity. People don't do travel or entertainment.

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