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Bali’s Annual Kissing Ritual That Nobody Has Heard Of

Culture

Bali’s Annual Kissing Ritual That Nobody Has Heard Of

Nyepi is a day that invites meditation, self-reflection and puts Bali into complete silence for 24 hours.

The next day, however, a village in Bali performs a snogging spectacle like no other.

Omed-Omedan (or pull-pull) is a ceremony from Banjar Kaja Sesetan in Denpasar. It involves singles from the ages of 17-30 to come together and celebrate the turn of the New Year.

The ritual is seen as a representation of pushing and pulling the positive and negative elements and acts as a symbol of joy for the New Year.

The ceremony takes place in Banjar Kaja Sesetan and begins with a prayer of safety from the youth participants. After this, the men and women are separated and move to face each other on the main street.

Now this is where the fun begins…

Once the Hindu leader of the village gives his signal, the two sides approach in a special kind of showdown where the male participants proceed to pull a female participant in for a cheeky kiss.

To make things even raunchier, it’s also a wet t-shirt contest.

The local people pour buckets of water on the participating youths just to add an extra layer to the madness.

Although the celebration has taken place for over 100 years, no one is quite sure how or when it evolved into the kissing extravaganza it is today.

Many have said that the ceremony is a great place to find a partner, with some going on to marry the person they shared a smooch with.

Some do opt for an embrace or a kiss on the cheek.

Either way, Omed-omedan is a truly unique tradition that certainly starts the New Year with a bang.

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