Reminiscent of Bali's distinctive bamboo and woven-palm penjors, the Balinese umbul-umbul are the distinctive vertical flags furled from bamboo poles that encircle temples during local festivals proclaiming the presence of god at an event. On another level, the umbul-umbuls that soar skyward to a tapered apex that invariably droops back towards earth symbolizes the need for the great and powerful to always remember to have humility and respect for harmony between nature and man. To paraphase a popular Indonesian axiom: Man must be like a stalk of ripening rice, the more bountiful its head of grain the more the stalk bends from the weight of its bounty.
To celebrate the umbul-umbul and all that it represents, on August 27-29, 2004 the Arti Foundation of Bali, in cooperation with the Rainbow Project from Switzerland, will hold Bali's first Umbul Umbul Festival. Aiming to inspire the world with the colors and the message of the umbul-umbul, Bali's Umbul-Umbul Festival will host three days of fun-filled activities open to the public. Activities will be concentrated in the Puputan Badung Memorial Park in downtown Denpasar and the Sanur Village community.
The centerpiece of the Festival will be an exhibition of umbul-umbuls at the Puputan Park on August 27 and 28. Hundreds of umbul-umbuls from around the world will be on display for public viewing. Arranged in the shape of a sacred lotus, traditional Balinese umbul-umbuls will dominate the center, surrounded by four successive circles of umbul-umbuls originating from the Rainbow Project reflecting the colors of the rainbow; umbul-umbuls created by school children from around the world; umbul-umbals created by invited artists; and the outermost circle comprised of umbul-umbuls made by contestants vying for prizes.
On the second day of the Festival, the Puputan Park will come alive with cultural ceremonies including live concerts, dance, and poetry recitals. A series of seminars discussing art, nature and spirituality will also be held.
On the morning of the third day, August 29, a massive procession of umbul-umbul will depart the Park accompanied by musicians and the public concluding on Sanur Beach where the banners will be installed for a final day of viewing.
The founder of the event, The Arti Foundation, is a Balinese organization dedicated to the conservation and development of the Balinese performing arts, seeking to preserve cultural heritage while remaining connected to global creativity. Led by respected Balinese composer Kadek Suardana, the Foundation produces and promotes a number of local events that promote the arts and foster international friendship.
Rainbow Project - the co-producers of the Festival – was founded in 1989 in Switzerland where the first international Umbul-Umbul Festival was held.
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