So one day a year the Balinese hold a festival called Nyepi. The day itself is not that exciting - in fact its the opposite. It's a day of silence and fasting. They close the airport, guards make sure no one is in the streets. Not a great day to be a tourist.
What is exciting, however, are the preparations! They do big parades in the street, such as this
Where they head to the beach for purification ceremonies. Actually headed there next.
It's pouring rain here, which is actually good luck, since its the water god they're going to at the beach. In addition to the parades, the have traditonal music ceremonies at every temple and they build ogo-ogos. As I type this I'm hearing their traditional music in the streets as they parade to the beach.
These Ogo-ogos are essentially ogres. They're 10-12 foot tall grotesque statues of gods, dragons, creatures with many arms and fur and you name it - I think the one essential element is that they're grotesque. We've seen them building these ogo-ogos all over town. (I'll try to snap a photo or two) Next, they'll have a parade and competition with their ogo-ogos and then burn them!
So while they weather may suck for surfing, there's lots of cool culture going on here at the moment.