Nyepi Day in Bali – 17 March 2018
While most New Year celebrations will include party, beers, music, etc., the New Year for Hindus in Bali are far from those sparkling celebration stuff. As the majority in Bali, the Hindu people will celebrate their New Year in “literally” a very quiet action. It is known as Nyepi Day or Day of Silence.
Nyepi Day is the time when everything on the island will come to a complete halt. Nobody on the Island is allowed to step outside of their home premises except for the ‘Pecalang’ (the Balinese guards). During the Nyepi day, all restaurants, cafes, clubs, shops, and even the airport will be closed. The time where there is no vehicle going around on the road.
The Unique of The Nyepi Day
Besides the “no-nothing-allowed-to-do” during the Nyepi day, following are some more unique things about the Nyepi Day:
- The ritual has been started three days prior ‘the silence’ day. The Hindu people will do what they call as the Melasti ceremony. Melasti means the ritual to purify the human body and the entire world from all the filth of sin and bad karma, through the symbolic act of carrying all god symbols to the beach holy water resources.
- On Saka New Year’s Eve or “Pengrupukan” Day, every Balinese household starts the evening with the blessing at the family temple. Around 07.00pm, there will be famous Ogoh-Ogoh parades. It is where Balinese men (and boys) carry scary creatures through the streets accompanied by noise and gamelan music. The main purpose of making Ogoh-Ogoh is the purification of the natural environment of any spiritual pollutants emitted from the activities of living beings (especially humans).
Tips to Keep Enjoying Your Holiday During the Nyepi Day
As I had lived in Bali for many years and enjoyed every moment of the Nyepi, I would suggest you to keep staying in Bali during your holiday especially if it is the first time you are in Bali during Nyepi. Below are 3 (three) highlighted reasons for my suggestion:
- Being able to explore Balinese culture even further. Try to come and to see the Melasti ceremony. Enjoy the beautiful gamelan (Balinese music), and the sacred purification ceremonies at the beach. Also, come and enjoy the Ogoh-Ogoh parades. You will be amazed by the gamelan, the status, and the youth who carry the status;
- Since no lights are allowed during the Nyepi Day, you will be able to see beautiful stars in the sky even from your hotel room. You can use this moment for your personal meditation, to get closer to the amazing nature. Enjoy the day without pollution; and
- Getting closer to your friends or family who is traveling with you. You might not have this opportunity during the regular day as you might be busy with the trip itinerary.
In addition, do not forget to be self-sufficient since starting a fire on this day is prohibited. Some hotels might serve food that does not require cooking. Check with your hotel to further find out their services during the Nyepi Day. Besides preparing the meals and beverages, you might want to prepare with some book or DVDs since you might not be able to access for television channel during this day (please check with your hotel to find out more about this). Please make sure that you will not produce any noise to disturb your surrounding. Furthermore, I would suggest that you will not depart from Bali on the day after the Nyepi Day as the airport will be very much crowded.
Finally, I am on behalf of YoExplore would like to say Happy Nyepi (Silence Day) for Hindus communities in Indonesia, celebrated on 17 March 2017. For you who are visiting Bali during this day, I am sure you will enjoy it and will have unforgettable unique experiences. Happy exploring!