Nyepi – The Silence Day of Bali
What is nyepi
Nyepi, or the silence day, is a Balinese Hindu tradition that happens in the new year of the Balinese Saka Calendar. Unlike new year celebrations, this island will have complete silence for 24 hours. From 6 AM to 6 AM the next morning, Balinese uses the day for self-meditation and introspection. It’s the time to think about the value of life, love, kindness, gratitude, and most importantly, get closer to God. There’s no one going out, no traffic, no sound, not even lights.
It’s a total shut down on the island. Though you are just a tourist and not celebrating, you still have to stay at your villa or hotel. Otherwise, you’ll get a penalty from breaking the local law. However, you don’t have to worry about your holiday plan if it happens on the Nyepi. You can make a fun indoor activity with your friends and family, as long as it’s not too loud. Nyepi only happens one day, but there are a series of ritual before the lockdown happened. These rituals are massive, sacred, but full of fun.
The sequence of Nyepi day begins two days before. There is a ceremony called Melasti, where people are coming to the beach or lake to pray. The purpose is to cleanse their sins. They all come together from the village to the beach with some offering called Pejati. It is a container made of coconut leaf that filled with duck egg, coconut, rice, thread, and flowers. This offering is later floated off the water and represents the sins that want to be cleaned. It is a sacred ritual, but you can see the process from the distance while taking some pictures.
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When you are in Bali around this period, you’ll see several giant statues with different characters around the street. This statue is called Ogoh-Ogoh. It represents the Bhuta Kala, the evil and negative spirit in human life. That is why the appearance is frightening. On the night before the shutdown, this statue is paraded around the village accompanied by loud music from the traditional music instruments and flares. It does like a party happening on the street. The night is called Pengerupukan. At least eight people carry the Ogoh-Ogoh on their shoulder and bring it to the final destination, it could be graveyard or a field that later will be burn.
What Should We Prepare Before Nyepi
Throughout Nyepi day, you can not go out at all, no working, no strolling, not even doing groceries or ordering food. It might be better if you prepare everything the day before Nyepi. Have some supplies like food, entertainment, generic medicine, and some cash. People are preparing for the Nyepi day, so expect a long queue at the checkout. Remember, don’t get too much piling, it’s only a day after all. However, if you are staying at the hotel. Book the Nyepi package, some hotel has it. They usually provide spas, movies, lunch and dinner package, and other room services.
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