Portraits from the Sanur Festival, Bali 2019

The Sanur festival is one of the highlights of the annual secular calendar in Bali. Now in its 14th year, this year’s festival was held over 5 days, from August 21 to August 25, and included a huge programme of cultural, environmental and sporting events, including a jukung race, windsurfing and surfing competitions, fishing competition, an early morning beach clean up, a turtle release, photography exhibition as well as food and music events lasting well into the night. This is very much a local festival, and not targeted towards the tourist, like many draw card events held in Ubud. Having said this, some foreigners do attend and are encouraged to join in, especially in events such as the clean up programme, the fishing comp and other international sporting events. For me, the highlight of the Festival was the cultural parade on the last day. This took place in a nearby street: various teams from the district banjar had been rehearsing their band and barong dances for months ahead.

20190825_205117Most of these portraits were taken as the young men eagerly awaited their turn to perform in front of the judges. Some rehearsed their percussion, others were nervous, or eager to get going.  The street show lasted for two hours- bad luck for the bank up of traffic, diverted through the narrow lanes near the traditional market. Once each new group moved into position to begin their performance, the intensity was transporting. These young men dressed in black and white outfits definitely stole the show. Pure percussion- loud, electric, erotic, thrilling. Terima kasih banyak.


14 thoughts on “Portraits from the Sanur Festival, Bali 2019”

  1. Wish I were still there…it must have been an exciting event and rousing with the gamelan and atmosphere. Lovely photos of the parade.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The fabrics are very ornate on festival days, and while teh women look beautiful, it is often the men who wear the best fabrics. The head dress, udeng, make Balinese men look dashing. Black hair, honey skin, white udeng, beautiful ornate sarongs, the Balinese men know how to dress in style. Just add gamelon for further thrills.


  2. Beautiful photos of handsomely dressed handsome young men 🙂 ! Have to imagine the gamelan music . . . modern thongs seem to suffice as foot coverings . . . Selfishly glad you have posted = am certain much of this is on Instagram which definitely is mad at me for something and turns away . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I noticed you absence from Insta and lovely comments there. so just as well I finally did a post here, just so I know you are Ok. Was worried. Yes, thongs are the go here, as all foot ware comes off the moment you step inside a house. I have worn a comfortable pair for the time I’ve been here as I can’t stand the hassle of bending over and undoing sandals. I stay barefoot when inside. Mind you, I needed some rather supportive sandals- Merrell make a good design for my old feet.
      The handsome boys and young men are wonderful to watch- their energy, costumes and beauty.


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