Tumpek Wayang is a traditional Balinese holiday and sacred festival of Hindus on the island which is celebrated every 6 months. This festival brings together puppeteers who perform purification rites (ruwatan) to purify their bodies both physically and mentally.
Another reason why Tumpek Wayang is important for the locals is that it represents various transitions on the traditional calendar and is a connection between the following days: Saniscara, Kajeng, Kilown and Wayang. As a transitional point, this holiday plays a sacred role for locals.Another key aspect of these celebrations that make the day so special is that devout Balinese celebrate the day as one that marks the birth of the Lord Kala. Local mythology hints that the birth of Kala may have been the result of unplanned intercourse between Shiva god and Uma goddess, although it is important to note that there are several variations to this mythology.
These variations, however, all point to the coming together of Shiva and Uma, which is why each celebration involves purification rites followed by the signature puppet show. This show is staged at the different temples, and is titled ‘Sapuh Leger’.
Whenever you are in Bali during Tumpek Wayang, look out for the puppet shows staged at different locations. Interact with the locals to learn a thing or two about their culture.