Nyepi Day Bali’s Day of Silence
In contrast to most cultures’ New Year celebrations which are characterised by parties of great gusto and revelry, Bali opens its Hindu New Year quite uniquely with a Day of Silence, or Nyepi. Following colourful ceremonies where effigies are cleansed in rivers or the ocean and a carnival to ward off evil spirits.
Observed from 6 a.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning, Nyepi is a day to start afresh, contemplate and reassess one’s values in life. As a day of solemn reflection, Balinese people abstain from travelling, working and all forms of entertainment, instead spending the day quietly at home engaging in minimal activity, fasting and meditation.
No flights depart from or arrive at the airport, the streets are closed to pedestrians and vehicles, and even street lights are turned off for the evening. The only people to be seen outdoors are the Pecalang, or traditional security men who patrol the streets to ensure the prohibitions are being followed.
Such prohibitions are undertaken seriously, with the exemption of hotels, whose guests, though not allowed to step outside, may enjoy all the in-house pleasures.
The spiritual belief is that evil spirits descend to Bali and seeing that it is uninhabited, leave the island alone for another year. In preparation for this day, on the eve of Nyepi large colourful sculptures of ‘ogoh-ogoh’ monsters are paraded and then burned in the evening to drive away evil spirits and to symbolise self-purification.
Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort
Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort
Rahajeng nyanggra rahina Nyepi Caka 1943.