Bali’s local version of Valentine’s Day: Tumpek Klurut

Valentine’s Day is widely celebrated in Bali, and the romantic appeal of the island make it a popular spot for honeymooners and couples in love. They certainly have good reason to love Bali, with its many romantic fine dining restaurants, excellent couple spas, and stunning natural beauty.

Nevertheless, amidst the celebrations of Valentine’s Day on the island, did you know that Bali actually has its own local version? If you didn’t know, you can be forgiven. Even the local Balinese youth are not always aware of this tradition, which has become obscured in favour of the Western Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is usually celebrated with a variant of a romantic dinner, followed by the giving of flowers, usually roses, as well as chocolate or candy. This is done to express affection to a romantic interest or partner, and to celebrate love.The Balinese have their own version of this festival, and they seem to be more generous about giving and expressing love and affection. Besides expressing love to the object of your affections, Tumpek Klurut encourages us to love all creatures and humans. This is meant to bring oneself closer to God, and to dispense affection to all.

Tumpek Kurut is celebrated once every 6 months, and there are no special ceremonies or rituals, save for a special offering of two tumpengs (horn shaped boiled rice) that symbolise man and woman.

For sure, we still love our candlelit dinners, romantic ambience and luxurious spa treatments, but  this altruistic ideal of  showing love and kindness to all creatures also gets us a bit warm and fuzzy inside.

Bali truly is an island of love, in more ways than one.


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