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Omed Omedan is one of Bali’s most exciting events where thousands of unmarried youth come together for a mass kissing festival.
For about 100 years, unmarried men and women aged between 17 to 30 have participated in this unique tradition which is held is held the day after the spiritual holiday of Nyepi.
In addition to the mass kissing, the festivities are accompanied by the pouring of water on the participants as a symbolic act of blessing.
Omed Omedan typically starts by separating the youths into two groups: men and women. The two groups stand opposite each other. When the designated elder marks the start of the festival, the two groups will reach out to embrace and kiss each other. For foreigners, this might seem a little awkward, but the locals will gleefully cheer on the participants whilst pouring water over them.
The whole event is light-hearted and filled with fun and frivolity. Many Balinese couples credit Omed Omedan for bringing them together, so it has also acted as a source of matchmaking in the past.
Visitors are welcome to watch this fun festival, but it is not appropriate that foreigners take part.