KUTA ~ Up to 5,000 people attended the traditional post-Nyepi market on Kuta Beach on Tuesday, the organizers said, hoping to net some bargains in the Balinese New Year sale.
â€œItâ€™s become a tradition every year, that the day after Nyepi we hold this market, Majelangu â€“ not only here in Kuta but everywhere around the island, from mountains to town squares, Kuta community chief I Gusti Ngurah Tresna told The Bali Times.
Some 200 traders took part in the market, coming from all over Bali, he said, adding that security measures had been put in place to protect visitors.
â€œWe are aware that Kuta Beach is not merely our (Balinese) beach. Itâ€™s also an international area. With so much people coming to Kuta Beach for their holidays, I want to make sure there is sufficient security in place, not just for this market, but also for every other day, so that tourists will keep coming back,â€ said Tresna.
To ensure adequate security during the annual market, all the security forces coordinated, from water police to pecalang, the Balinese security officials.
For sellers at the market, Tuesday was a good day for business, as most shops were still closed for the Hindu Day of Silence holiday that fell on Monday. But, said Tresna, they were not permitted to sell firecrackers or to engage in gambling.
â€œI think Majelangu is great – Itâ€™s like a harvest day for me, because everyone is coming here to shop because the other markets are still closed,â€ trinket seller Hadi Froggi told The Times.
This year, visitor numbers were up, said the 40-year-old from Java who like the other traders paid Rp50,000 (US$5.49) to set up his stall on the beach.
â€œIn just the last three hours since the market opened at 6am, Iâ€™ve taken in Rp200,000,â€ said Froggi.
For tourists, there were bargains to be had.
â€œItâ€™s very nice. Iâ€™ve bought some CDs and souvenirs, all for a good price, although Iâ€™m not sure about the quality,â€ a French tourist who gave her name as Muriez said.
â€œIâ€™ve been in Bali four times, but this is the first time Iâ€™ve spent Nyepi here. I like the market; itâ€™ good. People are pushing me to buy their stuff, but thatâ€™s okay,â€ remarked Ian Gillies fom Melbourne.