How to Enjoy the Nyepi Holiday (with Children!)
Nyepi, also known as Day of Silence, is a unique Balinese tradition. Nowhere else in the world will you see an entire island ‘shut down’ – even the international airport and harbors stops operating. All roads and other public outdoor locations are deserted, and the human footprint is minimized, as going outside is not an option.
If you happen to be in Bali on the 25th March, Nyepi might come as a shock if you are unprepared. Nyepi can be one of the most unique cultural experiences for you, and we will help you prepare!
The only two rules you need to keep in mind during Nyepi
On the eve of Nyepi, there will be a massive celebration and parade with ogoh-ogoh. The festival typically peaks at midnight, and afterward, people don’t stay outdoors for long. Nyepi officially begins at 6 AM on 25th March, and by then the following rules apply:
1. Stay within your accommodation’s boundaries
The rules of Nyepi do not specify that you must stay indoors at all times. You’re still able to use your accommodation’s facilities – the garden, the swimming pool, provided that they are within the walls of your accommodation.
Your children may be curious to check out the deserted roads. Remind them that it’s “dangerous” to go outside – it’s disrespectful to the locals. Common believe is that evil spirits roam the streets. Although children will be forgiven if they are caught outside by the pecalang guards, try not to make repeated offenses or they will think it’s on purpose.
Be prepared with food (if your accommodation does not provide it), water, and cash to eat at the hotel’s restaurant.
2. Minimize all noise
This could be challenging if you have young children, so please be patient. The point of this rule is to not disturb the Balinese Hindu as they pray and meditate in their homes.
Talk to your children and remind them that today is a special day were yelling in the pool, gardens, or the outdoor facilities is not allowed.
Answers to common concerns
1. What to do in case of medical emergencies?
Emergency public services are still on standby at all times. Save the phone number for a nearby hospital or clinic which serves on Nyepi Day and provides an ambulance.
If they do not provide an ambulance, ask your hotel to provide emergency transport. The pecalang will let you pass if you politely tell them about the emergency.
For other emergencies such as fires and natural disasters, the outdoor ban will be lifted to save lives.
2. Will the communications service be shut down as well?
Starting in 2018, internet services shut down for Nyepi, however telephone and SMS will still work. You can contact your emergency number, but otherwise, all forms of online entertainment are not available.
3. I’m afraid if all people are indoors, they may be oblivious to possible crimes
Crime during Nyepi is less likely to occur than on regular days. If nobody is allowed to go outside, criminals cannot rob homes or stores. The pecalang can easily accuse someone of premeditated crime if they are caught outside during Nyepi.
4. My children will be bored in the accommodation we’re staying at
Not all accommodations provide enough activities within the grounds of the accommodation. However, if you stay at Mara River Safari Lodge, you can enjoy a ton of activities and entertainment, both indoors and within Bali Safari Park, without guilt or worry.
Mara River Safari Lodge introduces the Nyepi Package, an all-inclusive package that includes nearly every facility that you would find in Bali Safari Park and the Safari Lodge complexes on regular days.
This includes animal shows, water park access, Safari Journey, Bali Agung Show, Night Safari, and all meals at Tsavo Lion Restaurant. Find out more on Nyepi Package in Bali 2020.
Nyepi can be a magical time in Bali, and you will find many surprising things about it. Here is a pro tip – look at the night sky and watch the Milky Way