Nyepi or ” Day of Silence “
it is commemorated every Isakawarsa (Saka new year)
It is a Hindu celebration mainly celebrated in Bali, Indonesia. Nyepi, a public holiday in Indonesia, is a day of silence, fasting and meditation for the Balinese. The day following Nyepi is also celebrated as New Year’s Day. On this day, the youth of Bali practice the ceremony of Omed-omedan or ‘The Kissing Ritual’ to celebrate the new year. The same day celebrated in India as ugadi.
From 6am tomorrow (28 March) until 6am on Wednesday , no one will leave their home. Religious rules state there should be no traffic, no fire, no work and no pleasure. Streets are empty, shops and restaurants remain closed, the beaches are shut, use of electricity is kept to a minimum, there’s no transport – even the airport closes – and the pecalang community police go on patrol, ensuring compliance and reprimanding anyone who steps outside their premises.
New Years Eve !
Silent Day follows on from raucous New Year’s Eve celebrations, held to chase away malevolent forces. There’s a sense of excitement in the air and in Ubud and the surrounding villages I’ve seen people crafting huge, ugly ogoh-ogoh papier mache effigies, with bulging eyes, fangs and hairy backs representing evil spirits. Each neighbourhood works on their own grotesque creations, which are paraded through the streets, accompanied by traditional gamelan bands and drumming, and burnt to much jubilation. “It symbolises burning your own demons as well chasing bad spirits away,” says Sugiharto.
Is hotels open for visitors on Nyepi ?
If you’re visiting Bali at the time of Nyepi, hotel restaurants and other facilities are usually open – often with a more basic menu – but you won’t be able to leave your accommodation and no one can check-in. If you’re in a private villa you’ll be expected to keep the noise down and lights off, even if you choose not to observe total silence.