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Magical Nyepi Silence Day in Bali

March 02, 2022

Magical Nyepi Silence Day in Bali

A new year celebration like you have never experienced before. Nyepi is New Year’s Day in the Balinese Saka Calendar, and a magical Hindu day where everyone is quiet and spends a day at home. You are forced to take a day off and rest, doesn’t sound too bad right? Also, the days before Nyepi are very special. We’ll take you through it, so you’ll be fully prepared, and are aware of the do’s and dont’s.

The days before

The Balinese people already start preparing the Hindu New Year weeks before the actual day of silence. 3 days before Nyepi the beautiful Melasti Ceremony takes place, a Hindu ritual to absolve ‘Bhuana Alit’ (small world) and ‘Bhuana Anung’ (the universe). The beautiful parades lead to the beach, accompanied by the symbol of gods to the sea or other water sources. These are believed by Hindus as a place to purify all the elements of this universe. The Balinese people wear white kabaja’s (sarongs), which look incredibly beautiful. The families come together and walk in parades, making their way to the beach.

The night before Nyepi the Balinese people celebrate with the famous and fascinating ‘Ogoh-Ogoh’ parades through the villages. Ogoh-Ogoh’s are giant statues of the evil spirts made of paper mache. Even though they look a bit scary and strange, it’s definitely worth the watch! The parade usually starts around 7pm.

Nyepi day

Nyepi day, the first day of Hindu New Year, is celebrated with 24 hours of total silence. The perfect way to come in peace with your thoughts and be thankful. The Balinese people follow a ritual with four prohibitions: ‘Amati geni’, ‘Amati lelungan’, ‘Amati karya’ and ‘Amati lelanguan’, which means no fire, no travel, no activity, and no entertainment. This results in empty streets, no electricity (check in with your hotel for more info), no traveling (the airport is closed) and no lights during the night. This way the Balinese pay respect to the gods of nature by giving them, and yourself, a little break from human routine. How beautiful is that! Let’s be thankful and show respect on this very special day.

Do’s and Dont's for Nyepi

No electricity, no traveling and total quietness means you need to prepare yourself well with the following:

  • Get some groceries in! Make sure you don’t do this just the day before Nyepi, since it will be very busy in the supermarkets, but just 2 or 3 days prior. Order or get your favorite snacks and meals to-go at places like Bali Budha, Motion Café, Shady Shack or Good Mantra. Want to cook yourself? Samadi Supermarket is the place to be!
  • Buy yourself some candles, since this is the only way you can use light during the night.
  • Respect the rituals of the Balinese. Check with your ho(s)tel, airbnb or homestay what their preferences are during Silence Day and try to be as quiet as possible.
  • Enjoy it! Nyepi is the ultimate day to give yourself a break. Relax, cook your favorite dish, read that book you always wanted to read and go offline for a bit (wi-fi probably doesn’t work either… J).
  • If you have the chance to watch the stars, take a moment for it. The sky is phenomenal this evening!

We vote for a day of silence in every single country, every year! I hope we informed you enough about this magical day. Enjoy, and we’d love to know how you’ll be spending it!

HAPPY NYEPI friends. 

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