Nyepi – The Day of Silence in Bali
When most people celebrates the New Year with vibrant parties, Bali has it’s own celebration to honors its New Year, Nyepi, unlike in any other place – with ultimate silence.
Bali welcomes the New Saka Year as the Day of Silence, where every activity in the island comes to a complete stop. Bali is a unique island.
The Purpose of Nyepi
Nyepi is known as a time of cleansing. A series of events will take place to purify the place from the wicked spirits. Hence, the day of silence occurs guiding the evil spirits to leave the island – making them think that no one resides here.
A Series of Nyepi Events
Prior to the awaited Day of Silence, a series of events will occur. Leading up to Nyepi, you will see that each banjar or village will be creating gigantic monster-like sculptures called the ogoh-ogoh.
This artistic creation of the mythical creature is built using a bamboo framework with layers of artwork, representing the malevolent spirits directed to leave the island.
Before the day of Nyepi, an incredible sight around town will happen and this is something you don’t want to miss! It starts with prayers in family temples and other temples around Bali as well, followed by family members making loud noises with pots, pans, and other loud utensils to drive away the evil spirits.
These spirits then are represented by the ogoh-ogoh during a colorful procession known as the Melasti pilgrimage.
The ogoh-ogoh will be paraded on the streets along with firecrackers, flames, and smokes. This will be the perfect time to experience Bali’s authentic culture. The most popular area to see this fascinating sight would be in Ubud on Monkey Forest Road.
The ogoh-ogoh will be carried by children and men, and they will compete in a thrilling fight before being burned in their separate villages.
Ultimate Silence in the Island
After a festive Nyepi Eve, the island transforms into ultimate silence. There will be no vehicles allowed on the roads (except for ambulances, police patrols, and emergencies), no one should go out of their premises, no lights are allowed to be turned on, and even the airport is closed – no flights in or out.
Tourists will be limited to stay in their hotel, but could still enjoy their complete facilities.
Nyepi is extremely anticipated by the locals, but tourists may choose to avoid Bali during this day due to restrictions. However, the Day of Silence should be experienced at least once in a lifetime.