Well, everyone, January is getting closer, bringing us another new year – and we hope it will be a great one for all. If you’re looking at next year’s calendar where you live, you’ll see 31 days and perhaps a holiday marked on the 26th for Australia Day or on the 21st, the Martin Luther King holiday.
For those of us who live in Bali, our January looks like this……… Gulp! Rather intense, isn’t it? And if you don’t have access to one of these calendars, we guarantee you won’t know much about what goes on for the local population – or the nation, for that matter.
Here’s a quick summary to help you identify the basics:-
- Dates marked in Red are mandatory days off for everyone. These are National holidays. Jan 1st is New Year’s Day and the 24th is the holiday for the birth of the Prophet Mohammed. When we see these “Red Days” as we call them, we need to note where they fall. If close to the end of the week, we can be assured that government offices will close down a day beforehand and that banks may (without announcement) be closed as well;
- Dates with a Red circle are special ceremony times for ALL Balinese. In the past, these days were not considered to be a holiday per se but many Balinese now expect a holiday to be granted nevertheless;
- The Black Dot appears once a month – this tells the date for the New Moon – another ceremony time for ALL Balinese and, since the skies are dark during the night, it’s considered to be a “witching” evening. You need to make very sure you put out the right offerings at this time;
- The Red Dot shows once a month too – and this is Purnama, or Full Moon – another ceremony that ALL Balinese participate in;
Now to all the FINE PRINT!! Do you really want to know? Well, it involves giving information for specific locations in Bali and the most important temple ceremonies that will be held and when. It also gives advice as to when is the best time to start construction, dig a well, put money in the bank, make a net (this one for the fishermen) and even try for a baby.
Finally, our calendar also follows the Chinese and Javanese ones to accommodate those inhabitants of the island.
So, when we are juggling orders and completion times and shipping schedules ALL of the above elements come into play as well. Now, after looking at our calendar for the month ahead, we wonder, do you still think that life in Bali is all that relaxing?