Omed-omedan: The Kissing Ceremony in Bali

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Published on April 5, 2019 | Activities, Bali Culture, Culture, Tips

Bali is known for its history and rich cultural traditions that have been well preserved by its people. One of the many traditions worth noting is Omed-omedan, also known as the kissing ceremony.

 

Omed-omedan kissing ritual
Source : BayuSastra Art Work

What is Omed – omedan?

Known as the Kissing Ritual, Omed-omedan is a ritual which has been held for at least a century by the Balinese community of Banjar Kaja, in Sesetan Denpasar.

It’s called the Kissing Ritual because both the male and female participants are engaged in a kissing procession, accompanied by other villagers pouring buckets of water over them.

The ritual itself is restricted to unmarried youths from Banjar Kaja, ranging from 17 to 30 years old.

Omed-omedan is held in Bali on the day after Nyepi (or Day of Silence), where the entire island shuts down to dedicate the entire day to reflection and meditation.

The name Omed-omedan originates from the Balinese word that means pull. In this context, pull is used to symbolize the push-and-pull forces between positive and negative elements.

As with many Balinese traditions, the kissing ritual begins by participants praying together as a preliminary safety preparation.

Afterwards, the males and females separate into two groups facing each other on the main street.

The kissing ritual commences with the signal of the Hindu leader, and the males pull the females, proceeding to kiss them while water is being poured over them.

 

Omed-omedan The Kissing Ritual
Source : Phinemo.com

Where to witness the Kissing Ceremony

The ritual is held in Sesetan, Denpasar, specifically by Banjar Kaja and its community.

The ceremony is held during the afternoon between 2-3pm, but the surrounding villagers and locals will have gathered way before this time.

Visitors should come early to secure good locations to take pictures. On that note, it’s wise to have some type of cover for your camera as the ritual involves lots of water being splashed around as the participants proceed with the kissing.

The kissing ceremony is just one of many cultural traditions still very well practiced in present day in Bali.

The location can be conveniently visited when you stay at Mara River Safari Lodge. We have various room types to accommodate smaller groups or larger families for the perfect getaway in Bali.

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