Nyepi, the Balinese Day of Silence

Nyepi, the Balinese Day of Silence

The entire Bali will fall silent for a day and a night during ‘The Balinese Day of Silence’ known as ‘Nyepi Day.’

Nyepi is the most important religious day in Bali. It marks the New Year in the Balinese lunar calendar called Saka calendar. Unlike other New Year celebrations in the world, this day is conclusively the quietest day of the year.

While mostly known for the total silence, there are actually several rituals conducted in conjunction with Nyepi.

Melasti Ritual

Nyepi rituals begin 3-4 days before the actual day of silence with ‘Melasti’ ritual. This precursory ceremony is performed in a Balinese temple situated near the sea as a religious practice of purification and cleansing from the worldly sins. The ritual is also performed to purify some sacred objects from temples and to take sacred water from the sea.

You can witness this ceremony when you are visiting Bali a few days before Nyepi. One of the most renowned places to conduct this ritual is at Melasti Beach, Ungasan; hence the name.

Melasti Ceremony before Nyepi

Pengerupukan Parade

During Nyepi Eve, the streets in Bali are filled with Ogoh-ogoh, monstrous-looking statues made of bamboo and paper, in an indigenous carnival called Pengerupukan. Each Hindu Balinese village handcrafts ogoh-ogoh, which is perched atop bamboo platforms and carried upon the shoulder of village men to parade around. The demonic statues symbolizes negative elements and evil spirits. This ritual ends with the extermination of the ogoh-ogoh to symbolize how the malevolent spirits are gotten rid of before the new Saka year begins.

A vibrant Pengerupukan parade is usually held outside Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) area in Nusa Dua—5 minutes walking from The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali. The event in Nusa Dua normally starts around 3:00 PM and ends at 7:00 PM; however, it might end a little late in other areas.

Ogoh-ogoh during Pengerupukan

Nyepi Ritual

During the titular day of silence, the Balinese people strictly follow religious laws called ‘Catur Brata Penyepian’ which focuses on four pillars, namely ‘amati geni’ (no fire and lights), ‘amati karya’ (no working), ‘amati lelunganan’ (no travelling), and ‘amati lelanguan’ (no self-entertainment). Therefore, public places, including the international airport, are closed; streets are abandoned; and people are not allowed to use lights, work, travel, and entertain themselves. People stay at home to focus and reconnect with God through prayer, fasting, meditation and self-reflection.

All daily activities are restricted during Nyepi Day, even for non-Balinese and tourists. The total silence commences at 6:00 AM and continues to 6:00 AM the next day.

Ngembak Geni Ritual

Ngembak Geni’ (roughly means ‘to be allowed to set fire’) is celebrated on the day after Nyepi. People are allowed to continue their activities as usual. During the day, Balinese people are praying to express their gratitude to God. It is also known as the day for people to forgive each other and to welcome the new days to come.

During the day, you can witness one of the most unique festivals in Bali in Sesetan Village in Denpasar where there is an extraordinary festival called ‘Omed-Omedan’, known as the ‘festival of kisses.’ Only boys and girls from Banjar Kaja Sesetan are allowed to join this festival; however, tourists are allowed to observe this one-of-a-kind moment.

Nyepi Day in Bali

For more information about Nyepi rituals and events in Bali, please contact The Luxury Collection Concierge.

T +62 361 771327

E Thelaguna.Concierge@theluxurycollection.com

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