Gambling Kiss or Kiss Festival

Kissing is actually a taboo in public for Balinese culture. However, Balinese never mind if the tourists (especially from western part) do that in public. A tolerance is something that people love from Balinese. So, is it possible that parents making their teenagers kiss in public? Oh, yeh…
A village in Bali does so once a year. Following Nyepi — a day of silence for Balinese Hindus marking the Saka New Year — at Banjar Sesetan Kaja, Denpasar, there is a unique annual traditional ceremony called Omedomedan. The word Omedomedan comes from the Balinese words "omed-omed" which mean "pulling each other". In this ceremony, the participants are all single adults, 17-30 years old and must be unmarried members of the Banjar Kaja. Strict rules apply and non-members of the Banjar Kaja are not permitted to join the ceremony. It is believed that if the ceremony doesn’t take place, a calamity could occur.

In the 1970s, it was moved to the day after Nyepi to respect the silence edict. The festival is held in the afternoon so not to disrupt the tradition after Nyepi called Nyembak Geni, where Hindus visit each other to pray and ask for forgiveness. Before the festival, participants also visit the temple to make prayers and offerings.

As the Beleganjur troop started playing the music instruments, the sacred kissing ritual began. The girls’ line and boys’ line faced each other, as the older members lifted up a divider between them, to allow them to make their match.

Others were pushing and pulling the ones in front, just like in a chaotic demonstration. When the girls and the boys met, they hugged and kissed, and it all happened in a very wild way, until a huge amount of water was poured on them.
It was at this exciting but drenched moment, that the photographers also went wild and all the participants faced a barrage of camera flashes. Most of the time, the boys would chase the girls only to succeed with a smooch on the cheek, but occasionally, some brave, lucky boys, scored a kiss on the lips.


One more remark: truly, you can't choose your Mate even you know all members here. Yes, they are your friends from same village but it is just like gambling, you will lucky if you get the one who you want!

P.S. Special thank to Made Yudistira  :)