NYEPI - Balinese New Year
"Nyepi Day is a series of celebration that is not only a one day ceremonial event. The day leading to Nyepi, some traditional festivals and rituals are celebrated. Melasti ceremony is to cleanse the small universe (our body) as well as the major universe where everything’s live. Mecaru ceremony is to neutralize and balance the negative power of Bhuta (evil) so that it is expected to bring peace, prosperity and wealth of the universe."
Nyepi is a Balinese "Day of Silence" that is commemorated every Isakawarsa (Saka new year) according to the Balinese calendar (in 2015, it falls on March 21). 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.
Observed from 6 am until 6 am the next morning, Nyepi is a day reserved for self-reflection, and as such, anything that might interfere with that purpose is restricted.
The main restrictions are no lighting fires (and lights must be kept low); no working; no entertainment or pleasure; no traveling; and, for some, no talking or eating at all.
The effect of these prohibitions is that Bali's usually bustling streets and roads are empty, there is little or no noise from TVs and radios, and few signs of activity are seen even inside homes.
The only people to be seen outdoors are the Pecalang, traditional security men who patrol the streets to ensure the prohibitions are being followed.
Balinese people are very religious and life is full of
ritual - Nyepi is one of the most important days in their calendar. All
ports of entry are closed, although emergency services do still open, and
literally no one may be outdoors or be seen doing anything indoors
Although Nyepi is primarily a Hindu holiday, non-Hindu residents of Bali observe the day of silence as well, out of respect for their fellow citizens. Even tourists are not exempt; although free to do as they wish inside their hotels, no one is allowed onto the beaches or streets, and the only airport in Bali remains closed for the entire day. The only exceptions granted are for emergency vehicles carrying those with life-threatening conditions and women about to give birth.
On the day after Nyepi, known as Ngembak Geni, social activity picks up again quickly, as families and friends gather to ask forgiveness from one another, and to perform certain religious rituals together.
- 2015: March 21.
- 2016: March 9.
- 2017: March 28.