Expressing your feelings in public in Bali is not encouraged. And publicly kissing as well... But there is one day when Balinese people are willing to come together in a kiss. And it comes right after the Day of Silence!
When the new year has come and Nyepi is behind, young Balinese people in the banjar of Sesetan, located in Denpasar, celebrate, hug, kiss, and splash water on each other in joy. In short, they rejoice in life.
This ritual has been around for over a hundred years. It's unclear where this tradition originated from, but it is practiced in the village of Sesetan on Bali. Unmarried women and single men between the ages of 17 and 30 can participate in it.
The celebration begins early in the morning with a joint prayer, after which the youth divides into two groups, male and female, and proceeds through the streets of the city.
According to tradition, during the procession, men try to kiss as many girls as possible, who shyly turn away from persistent suitors.
In the end, other villagers drench the heated crowd with icy water, hinting that it's time to cool down. It's believed that water also washes away all the sad thoughts accumulated throughout the year and purifies the soul.
Of course, no celebration in Bali is complete without the participation of the island's protector, Barong.
Local residents believe that the festival ensures good health for those who participated in it and prevents misfortunes from befalling the village.