Subject: Re: Travelling during religious festivals & holidays
Hi Megan -

What a great topic!!! In my many travels I did encounter many religious festivals and other holidays. However there is an unforgetable one - in Ubud, Bali.

In 1997 we went all over Southeast Asia. Three months roaming the area and Japan - with my youngest son who had just graduated as an architect. You can imagine what a fabulous trip that was!

We arrived in Ubud, in the interior of the island. I had learned about a "hotel" that had been the home of the reigning family before they moved to a newer, larger palace. No advertisements not even a sign by the door. (I won´t even beguin to describe this place or I will never finish this mail!!!) In the entrance courtyard there were several men practicing with musical instruments, quite dressed up in typical costumes. When we asked we were told they were practicing for the festival. It turned out we had arrived during a festival they celebrate every year but this one was extra special because it was the one they celebrate every one hundred years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Every night the whole town dressed up and went to special places where they played music and sung. There were rows of chairs for those who wanted to watch. Beautiful. But the best part was seeing the change in the women who had been working at the shops and other places we went to during the day. They came out all dressed up in their costumes - and what costumes! Gold fabrics with beautiful designs in reds and blues - for the long skirts and bodices and their "hats". These were of fabric intertwined to form the greatest shapes. They participated or simply attended the different festival ocurrences. The flower arrangements, large and small, were real works of art.

We felt very lucky to have arrived at such a special time.

Best regards, Susana São Paulo, Brasil