Photos: Portraits of the Balinese

9 February 2012 | By Pawel

Topics: Featured, Indonesia, Photography, Places


Having a chance to visit a foreign country during one of its festivals is for many people something not to be missed – whether it’s Holi in India, Songkran in Thailand or even Octoberfest in Germany. In our case it has recently been Galungan in Bali, Indonesia.

When we first found out that one of the biggest Balinese festivals is about to happen in just a few weeks, we were thrilled and knew we definitely had to come and see it. And so we did…

Galungan is a 10 day festival that occurs every 210 days and this year it fell on the 1st of February. It is believed that it’s the time when the spirits of the ancestors visit the earth and the Balinese perform rituals and prepare offerings to welcome them. Offerings range from food, flowers, incense and fruits in order to show their gratitude to the ancestors  which are offered at the shrine inside the house complex and also at the local temples.

The family who ran the homestay we were staying at in Ubud, were only glad to help us with the traditional attire for the festival. This is the day where you see everyone from old, young and even kids dressed up in traditional attire all on their way to or back from the temples. These are portraits of the Balinese people we met on the way.























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4 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Denise says:

    I can’t believe how beautiful these shots are. How did you get them all to pose for you?

    • Pawel says:

      Thanks Denise! It was actually quite easy… I just asked each of them (or rather gestured) if they don’t mind posing for me. And even those serious looking men had completely no problem with it :)

  2. These portraits are beautiful! You can see the anticipation in their faces. It must have been a wonderful celebration. :)

    • Lavanya says:

      It really was Audrey! And also so much fun for us to be part of it :) We returned to Bali at the end of our trip just to witness this festival and it was so worth it!

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