Getting restless at work again? It’s the time of the year once more – to plan your next vacation!
The Indonesian public holiday dates for 2015 have been released, with 15 official work-free days!
Better still, we’ve worked out 10 long weekends you can enjoy if you plan ahead, with only 5 days leave required! Apply ahead before all your colleagues do!
And with Bali just a short flight or ferry ride away, it’s the perfect destination for a short getaway.
Want to refresh yourself at luxurious rainforest resorts, enjoy gorgeous cliffside views or simply relax at a water villa?
All the good hotels are snapped up quickly over the holiday period, so what are you waiting for? Bali’s calling!
1. Take Jan 2 (Friday) off to enjoy a 4-day-long weekend: Fireworks and Carnival to bring in the New Year
Start the new year with a bang combining the New Year’s Day holiday (Jan 1) with Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday (Jan 3).
Kuta Beach hosts a parade or carnival in the afternoon of New Year’s Eve to kick-start the celebrations.
Some of which are the liveliest on the island, with a brilliant fireworks display that sparks off on the stroke of midnight.
And it’s time to party, at your private villa, or at Bali’s beautiful beaches!
But do ensure you have enough cash to see you through your holiday – banks are closed on 31st December and 1st January.
Want another reason to visit Kuta?
The Vihara Dharmayana Chinese temple in Kuta is home to the week-long Chinese New Year festivities held in February.
Watch out for the beautiful Barongsai dance and colourful masks – the explosion of colour this holiday weekend will keep you enraptured.
Throughout the day, people come to pray and pay homage to Buddha, while at night, the temple comes alive with lit red lanterns strung around the compound and the feasting starts!
3. Enjoy a 3-day-long weekend in April (no leave required): Finding Easter eggs in the enclaves
What’s more meaningful than using the Easter weekend to explore the less developed areas of West Bali, and visit one of the island’s Christian enclaves?
Palasari village in Jembrana is home to more than 2,000 Catholic families who have resided there for almost a century.
Easter services are held each year in the Grand Catholic Church, which blends Balinese and European Gothic architecture, and visitors are definitely welcome.
Alternatively, you can always enjoy Easter at Balinese hotels, with extravagant Easter Sunday buffet lunches and activities for the kids, which include traditional Easter egg painting and Easter egg hunts.
Hand painted eggs at Wayan Sadra’s workshop
Where best to delight both adult and child alike?
4. Celebrate the day of No Work in May and enjoy a 3-day-long weekend
What better way to celebrate the day of workers than to go on holiday?
May marks the start of the dry season in Bali, which means clear skies and low humidity – the perfect combination!
Take time out from your work schedule to do absolutely nothing – soak up the sun on the Bali’s best beaches or ease your work-weary muscles in one of Bali’s numerous geothermal hot springs.
5. Take May 15 (Friday) off to enjoy a 4-day-long weekend: A series of religious celebrations
Celebrate the ascension of Jesus Christ and Isra Mi’raj Prophet Muhammad by taking your own journey through Bali’s beautiful countryside in mid-May.
You can visit the heritage-listed Jatiluwih Rice Paddies or tour the spectacular Kintamani highland region.
Jatiluwih Rice Paddies
That’s the best place to breathe in the fresh Balinese air, while you explore the incredible landscapes as a quiet leisure retreat.
6. Take June 1 (Monday) off to enjoy a 4-day-long weekend: Buddha’s birthday in northern Bali
The Buddhist holiday of Waisak celebrates the birth, life and teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni.
And the best place to meditate on the teachings?
Head to the stunning Buddhist temple and Monastery, Brahmavihara Arama, in the beautiful hills above Lovina.
This small Borobudur offers spectacular views and several Buddha statues where you can contemplate enlightenment.
To top it off, don’t you think the tranquil black sand of Lovina makes it the perfect base to explore this area?
7. Six days long weekend to celebrate the end of the fasting month in July (no leave required)
If you’ve been fasting all Ramadhan, Eid al-Fitr is the time to indulge!
With a cuisine of its own, Bali is a great place to sample all your Indonesian favourites with a distinct Balinese edge.
Try chicken Lawar with young jackfruit and banana flower or Balinese nasi campur with fish.
Be sure to check out sate susu too, which can only be found during the holy month of Ramadhan.
Cooking schools are everywhere, so you have ample opportunity to learn some new dishes to add to your repertoire back home.
Eid al-Fitr falls on the 17th and 18th in 2015, but joint holidays mean its an official 6-day long weekend (and some businesses may even close for up to two weeks).
There’s no excuse not to take a holiday!
8. Enjoy a 3-day-long weekend in August: Wear your national flag as a badge
Why don’t you try celebrating Independence Day, Balinese-style?
Grab your red-and-white flag and head to the Island of the Gods to experience the traditional games unique to the province.
Full image credit: Apel Photography
And with all Indonesians coming together on this special day, you are bound to make new friends!
Plus, from sack races to eel-catching to tug-of-war, this is a weekend to spend with family and remember what it means to be Indonesian.
9. Take Sept 25 (Friday) off to enjoy a 4-day-long weekend: Feasting time at the Festival of the Sacrifice
While Bali is predominantly Hindu, there are still Muslim communities around the island, whom you can celebrate this ‘Festival of the Sacrifice’ with.
Home to Bali’s oldest Muslim community, Gelgel, near Klungkung, will be alive with activity over this long weekend.
See how Muslims and Hindus have embraced each other’s cultures during these ‘days of remembrance’.
And what’s best – you won’t go hungry.
Goats and sheep are sacrificed, and the feasting begins!
10. 4 day long weekend break during Christmas
Christmas is a time to eat and be merry, and where best to spend this holiday season than Bali?
In most hotels, all your festive favourites will be served up (some with a Balinese twist).
And if you’re lucky, Father Christmas might also drop by!
After the great feasting over, all you’ll want to do is to pull up a banana lounge, let it all digest, and contemplate about the ending year on one of Bali’s perfect stretches of white sand.
While Christmas itself falls on a Friday in 2015, there’s an official joint holiday on the Thursday, so you get a 4-day-long weekend.