Enjoy a Week of Chinese Celebration in Kuta
Not many visitors to Bali know of the existence of a Chinese temple in Kuta. In fact, when you leave Bali to head to the airport, you travel right past it and it is easily unnoticed. There are a couple of Klentengs (Chinese temples) in Denpasar but they are smaller whereas the Vihara Dharmayana on Jalan Tanjung Mekar is a relatively large temple and patronised by the Chinese community in Kuta. Anybody can enter the temple, look around and take photographs (please do it discreetly so as not to disturb those praying). There are several Bhuddist statues and the whole temple is decorated in the lucky Chinese colour of red. Both my wife Candika and I are Bhuddists and regularly visit the temple for prayer. One of the greatest times to visit this temple is during the week of Chinese New Year. It is indeed a pageantry of colour and friendliness, but the best is that you are welcomed heartily to join in on the celebrations even if you are not a practising Bhuddist.
Chinese New Year falls in January and next year it starts on the 26th which is great for me because it is the day before my birthday and all Australians know that the 26th is Australia Day. Not that any of this has much relevance, but I just thought I’d mention it. Vihara Dharmayana during the week-long festival is spectacular with Barongsai dance and those colourful masks. Red lanterns are strung from the buildings in the temple compound and there is a steady stream of devotees praying and paying homage to Bhudda. It is also a time of feasting and the best time during the celebratory week is at night when all the delicious food is brought out for all to share. If you visit the temple then please leave a small donation as it helps with the upkeep of the temple.