Nyepi, the Bali Hindu New Year and Day of Silence
Seek a deeper cultural travel experience? Pack your bags and head to Bali this March to celebrate Balinese New Year and Nyepi, the Hindu ‘day of silence’. It’s one of the most unique new year celebrations. Here’s everything you need to know about Balinese New Year…
WHEN IS NYEPI IN 2020 AND WHAT IS IT?
This is not your typical party-style new year. The purpose of Balinese New Year for the Balinese people is to cleanse the past through various rituals, prayer and ceremonies. It’s a symbolic time of silence, fasting, cleansing, meditation and introspection. Balinese New Year falls on the Hindu Lunar New Year so the dates vary slightly from year to year. It’s a public holiday in Indonesia and this year Nyepi begins at 6am on Wednesday 25th March and ends at 6am on Thursday 26th March.
DON’T MISS THE OGOH OGOH PARADE
One of the highlights that the kids will absolutely love is theNgrupuk Parade, also known as the ‘Ogoh Ogoh’ Parade that is held on the evening of Nyepi. It’s a dramatic parade of fantastical monsters and demons made from paper-mache, bamboo and other natural materials. There’s gamelons, gongs and fireworks. These colorful creatures come in various sizes, some up to 25-feet tall. The Ogoh Ogoh parade ends at sunset with the ceremonial burning of all the creations.
OR THE MELASTI CLEANSING CEREMONY
In the days leading up to Balinese New Year is the Hindu ‘Melasti’ purification ceremony. Entire villages make the journey together in procession-style to the beach or river ‘holy spring’ to perform purification rituals. These are performed to cleanse one from past deeds and karma. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to watch the beautifully dressed Balinese carrying offerings, walking and laughing together. You can also observe the village priest praying, chanting and splashing holy water and flowers – a visual delight.
NEYPI ‘DAY OF SILENCE’
There are very few places in the world where we can switch off and immerse in a day of complete silence. During Nyepi, all the stores, restaurants and even the airport is closed. There are no fires nor electricity allowed. Nyepi is a sacred day of silence, fasting, and mediation, so travel and too much activity is not recommended. Even for the foreigner, Nyepi is an amazing opportunity to self-reflect on the past year and set positive intentions for the year ahead.
THE DAY AFTER NEYPI
Bali comes alive again on the day after Neypi. This is when families visit each other with offerings. The electricity is back on and fires are lit and the energy feels social once more. We think everyone should experience Nyepi at least once in their lives.
Here’s how Karma is celebrating Nyepi this year…
We think everyone should experience Nyepi at least once in their lives.