Christmas Day in Bali PDF Print E-mail

 Today December 25th, all Christians all over the world will celebrate Christmas day, so do Christians in Bali. Although the majority of the dwellers in this island are Hindu but they keep respecting others. It is jovial and spectacular celebration with many customs and conventions associated with it. The Christmas tree will be arranged and the appearance of Santa Claus (the Christmas father) and the distribution of presents follow this. There is a feast in every Christian home on Christmas day with meat as a special item. The Christmas cake has now become very popular even in Villages.

It is very important to know how condition of Bali when catholic entered Bali. At the early of 1900s, majority of Balinese were Hindu. They lived in accordance with the customs and Hindu. In terms of social strata, there was a clear gap between the each part of caste. The three high classes: Brahmana, Ksatriya, and Waisya were in prosperity while Sudra, the lowest one, lived in poor, worked as a farmer, labor, or fishermen. On that time, education was a prestigious thing that only could be achieved by the higher caste and it was impossible to be acquired by the Sudra.

When the Dutch controlled Bali on that time, Dutch Government sent some of Balinese youths to Makasar to learn about Christianity under the control of CMA (Christian and Missionary Alliance). Until, in 1935 there was a conflict between Christian and Hindu in Bali, this result in, CMA in Bali was closed down and Balinese youngsters who were still in Makasar sent back to Bali.

And on February 14th 1937 the first Church named Tri Tunggal Maha Kudus was established. Catholic Balinese try to infuse Catholic into the Balinese art. It can be seen in the first church’s architecture which was used Balinese style. It was used Gapura (a Balinese style door) in front of the Church.Then Catholic was spread to the other regions. Many missionaries came to Bali to serve the people. Balinese Catholic did not only build Church but they also established some foundation focusing on education, health, and all purpose-corporative. And the date when Pastor J.Kersten came to Denpasar is celebrated as the birth date of Catholic in Bali.