Nyepi, Balinese New Year: Day of Silence

  • Update : 13 Mar 2024 14:56
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 Nyepi is a Balinese "Day of Silence" that marks the start of the Balinese Saka New Year. It is a Hindu celebration mainly observed in Bali, Indonesia. Nyepi is a day of silence, fasting, and meditation for the Balinese. The day is observed from 6 a.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning. During Nyepi, the entire island of Bali comes to a standstill:

1.    No Work: All daily activities cease; people stay at home, and no one works. This includes the tourists, who are encouraged to remain in their hotels.

2.    No Fire/Light: There are restrictions on the use of lights and fire, which means no cooking. The island significantly reduces electricity use, and streets are dark, with minimal or no lighting.

3.    No Travel: The streets are empty. No one is allowed outside, including tourists. Airports are closed, and there's no incoming or outgoing travel from Bali.

4.    No Entertainment: There's no form of entertainment or pleasure observed. Radios, TVs, the internet, and other forms of entertainment are turned off, and people are encouraged to reflect, meditate, and fast.

The philosophy behind Nyepi is to dedicate an entire day to self-reflection, fasting, and meditation, contemplating human values of tolerance, love, patience, and kindness. It's also thought to be a day for the island to rest and recharge.

Nyepi is preceded by several rituals:

·         Melasti or Mekiis: A purification ceremony that usually takes place several days before Nyepi, involving processions to the sea or a water source to cleanse sacred objects and the soul.

·         Tawur Kesanga: The day before Nyepi, large and colorful effigies known as ogoh-ogoh, which represent demons or evil spirits, are paraded and then burned in the evening to drive away evil spirits. Tourists and visitors are welcome to watch the parades, take pictures and witness this unique spectacle. Some of these ogoh-ogoh are burnt after the parade. Although these rituals take place over the entire island. Each village makes at least one spectacular Ogoh-Ogoh and takes pride in the entire process.

·         The day of: Nyepi

The entire island is “closed”, including the airport as there will be no incoming or outgoing flights. The roads are off limited, as everyone is expected to stay indoors for 24 hours. Because no one should be out and about, you’re prohibited from entering any beaches, and all restaurants, grocery stores, and other types of shops will be closed for everyone.

·         The day after: Ngembak Geni

Social activity picks up again very quickly the next day. As families and friends come together and socialize after staying indoors for 24 hours, they ask for forgiveness from one another as a way of letting go the past. Different areas have different ways they celebrate Ngembak Agni, which is a day to rejoice and spend the day outside.

The observance of Nyepi also has environmental impacts, as the day of silence contributes to a noticeable drop in pollution levels due to the cessation of normal human activity.




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Love Bali Application as the Implementation of Bali Province Regional Regulation Number 6 of 2023 concerning Levy for Foreign Tourists for the Protection of Balinese Culture and Natural Environment.