Amid a decline in tourist arrivals due to the still worrying novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Bali is determined to host a festival at one of its most popular tourist attractions, Tanah Lot in Tabanan regency, on March 13 to 15.
According to Tanah Lot Tourist manager, I Ketut Toya Adnyana on Sunday, the biennial event would involve around 1,000 artists from seven Pekraman village communities in Kediri district.
The festival is expected to lure visitors to the home of the Hindu pilgrimage temple Pura Tanah Lot, which number had declined by up to 30 percent ever since the spread of COVID-19 and closure of flight services from China.
“With this festival, we want to show that tourists still come to Tanah Lot,” Toya told tempo.co.
The third edition of the Tanah Lot Festival reportedly would be themed “Tirta Kamandalu”, which translates to “holy water from the bottom of the ocean that becomes the source of life.”
Among the highlights of the upcoming event is an art performance named Okokan, which will feature 1,000 dancers and is scheduled to be held on an opening day on March 13 at 6 p.m. “The theme of this massive Okokan is ‘Nangluk Merana’, which means repelling bad luck.”
Toya said Okokan is actually an annual tradition celebrated by the villagers of Pekraman.
“Usually it is performed before Nyepi Day [Hindu Day of Silence] to repel plague or disaster,” he said, adding that he was hopeful the performance would be able to decrease the impact of COVID-19.
“It’s part of our belief as Hindunese to restore the situation to normal,” Toya said.
Due to the coronavirus fear, many concerts and festivals have been postponed across Jakarta. In Bali, Ubud Food Festival was recently rescheduled from April 17 – 19 to June 26 – 28.