Omed-Omedan – The Kissing Ritual

The day following Nyepi is called Ngembak Geni Day and on this day there is a special ritual performed known as omed-omedan or med-medan. An age-old tradition, it is believed to date back to the Oka Sesetan royal family. Omed-omedan is a kind of public display of affection expressed by the youth of Bali but in an unusual manner.

The sacred kissing ritual is a crowd pleaser and draws a lot of observers as young boys chase girls for a hug and a kiss. Most times it is just a peck on the cheek but there are those boys who get brave and kiss the girls on the lips. This sacred ritual was actually banned by the Dutch during their occupation of Indonesia. If you want to witness this folly of youth then head down to Jalan Raya Sesetan in Banjar Kaja in Southern Denpasar. Best time is early afternoon.