As Nyepi is fast approaching this week in Bali. We thought we would have a look at what exactly it means to the Balinese people, and why it is such an important day.
Nyepi falls every Saka New Year (this is determined by the Balinese calendar). The island of Bali is predominantly a Hindu island – and this is a very special Hindu holiday. Nyepi lasts from 6am the day of Nyepi, until 6am the next day. This is a time for reflection and meditation and as such any activity that would prohibit that is restricted. The main activities that are prohibited are:
- No working
- No lighting fires (or lights of any kind)
- No entertainment or pleasure
- No travelling
- And for the very religious, no talking and no eating
Leading up to Nyepi are a host of rituals, they begin with:
- The Melasti Ritual – this will be performed 3-4 days before Nyepi – so if you are in Bali this week, you can expect there to be ceremonies on Wednesday this week.
- The Bhuta Yajna Ritual – if you are a tourist in Bali, this is very special to see. During this ritual, Ogoh-Ogoh (giant statues and floats made of bamboo and Styrofoam) symbolizing the evil elements are paraded around the streets of Bali. These are made to vanquish the evil spirits. After the parade, the Ogoh-Ogoh should traditionally be taken to the beach and burned, however, this is no longer common practice.
- The Nyepi Rituals – the day of silence during which there is no fire, no light or electricity,; no working; no travelling; fasting and no entertainment.
- The Yoga/Brata Ritual – begins at 6am the next day
- The Ngembak Agni/Labuh Brata Ritual – this ritual is perfomed for the Balinese to forgive each other and celebrate the new days ahead.
- The Dharma Shanti Rituals are performed after all of the Nyepi rituals have been performed.
How does this affect you, you ask? Well, if you are on holiday here it means you get to see some incredible parades, after which, you can rest and enjoy a day of serenity and peace. Most hotels will allow you to swim, walk around the grounds and generally enjoy your day – loud shouting, music and bright lights will not be allowed.
Blue Season Bali will be operating under these hours:
Friday the 16th March – 6:30am – 3:00pm
Saturday the 17th March – CLOSED
Sunday the 18th March – 7:30am – 8:00pm
Please be respectful of the Balinese people who so openly welcome us into their home. This is a very special time for them, and just one day out of the year to disconnect and have a quiet day. Be sure to look up at night and see the stars too!
Are you in Nyepi this year? Where will you be going to watch the parades?