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NYEPI DAY

As Nyepi is a national holiday in Indonesia and Hindu areas perform the same rituals, however Bali is where the biggest Nyepi celebrations take place.  Nyepi or Day of Silence, is a Balinese Hindu New Year which celebrated once a year on the first day of the New Year according to the Saka Balinese calendar which held in different day each year – in 2019, we celebrate Nyepi on the 7th of March.

What Happens On Nyepi?

The Balinese New Year is celebrated over six days. On the third day, there is Nyepi, the day of silence. The island comes to a halt. There are no flight scheduled, no one can leave or enter Bali at this time. Everything is closed and no light is meant to be lit. Hotels have sone leeway on this because of the tourist, but they cover their windows and there are a minimal number of staff working. No one is allowed to drive or walk around, and everyone is meant to stay indoors. There are even watchmen who patrol the streets to make sure no one is outside.

Nyepi is an extremely special time to be on the island for both locals and visitors alike. An important Hindu celebration, the day is reserved for prayer, meditation, and fasting for the Balinese. Tourists are free to do as they wish on this day, but must stay indoors and make sure that any lights cannot be seen from the outside. Any curious individuals attempting to explore the empty streets will be swiftly sent back to their homes or hotels by the Pecalang traditional village security men.

While being confined inside might seem boring to those who have never experienced Nyepi, the reality is quite different. The clear air and silence from a whole island without traffic is something that must be experienced to be truly appreciated, and most visitors to Bali over Nyepi find the whole experience to be quite memorable and profound.

As night falls, the absence of artificial light means that the universe puts on an impressive display, with millions of stars visible and brighter than most people will have ever seen before.

Nyepi Rituals and the Ogoh Ogoh Parade

The days leading up to Nyepi are an extremely busy period for the Balinese, with a number of ceremonies that must be performed for purification and to ensure good luck and fortune for the year ahead. This is definitely a great time for photographers who will have no shortage of impressive scenes to capture.

Melasti is the first major ceremony, usually three or four days before Nyepi. The Melasti ceremony is always held on a beach and entire villages make a pilgrimage to their closest beach to perform a purification ritual, everyone wearing traditional adat clothing in white.

One fun part of the Balinese New Year is the Ogoh-Ogoh parades on Nyepi Eve, for the Bhuta Yajna ritual will hold a Ngrupuk Parade with Ogoh-Ogoh, the Ogoh-Ogoh statues are representing of a demonic form of Hindu mythology and made by bamboo. The local young men in each village for months beforehand and paraded down the main street with loud traditional music and noise. At several points in the procession, the ogoh-ogoh are spun around three times in order to confuse the spirits. At the end of the parade, the effigies are ritually burned, although this practive is becoming less common in recent years.

Where to Stay and What to Do Over Nyepi

If you’re visiting Bali over Nyepi, you’re incredibly lucky to have the chance to witness this spectacle. Hotels and Resorts operate as usual and you’ll be able to explore the grounds and use the swimming pool. In fact, many non-Hindu residents of Bali opt to book themselves into a hotel such as Legian Beach Hotel over Nyepi so they can enjoy the facilities.

Restaurants inside large hotels will also remain open but if you’re staying in a small homestay or self-catering villa, you’ll need to make sure you have enough food and provisions to last you 24 hours.

On Nyepi eve, the ogoh ogoh processions will start around sunset. Most villages display the ogoh ogoh on the community football field or a designated road from the morning, so you’ll have the opportunity to see them in close-up and get some good photos.

The Nyepi curfew officially lasts from 6am on Nyepi day (17th March this year) until 6am the following day. However, traffic gets very busy on Nyepi eve and many roads will be blocked for the ogoh ogoh processions. It’s therefore best to avoid travelling too far from your accommodation (heading out on foot if possible) and aiming to be back after the parades finish in the early evening.

Wherever you are in Bali for Nyepi, and whether you use the day for relaxation and indulgence, or introspection and meditation, remember to step outside and take a look at those incredible stars before you turn in for the night. It’s a sight and experience you’re sure to remember forever.
 

Deluxe Pool Villa Legian Beach HotelDay of Silence Package

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