March 19, 2015 ICS Travel Group

Balinese New Year. . . a Day of Silence

Nyepi, Balinese New Year

Nyepi, Balinese New Year

The island of Bali, Indonesia has many festivals, but one of the most important is the “Day of Silence” – the New Year celebration also known as Nyepi.

Nyepi is known as “Silence Day” because on this day the island is completely silent for 24 hours. This year, Nyepi Day will start at 6:00am on 21 March and will end at 6:00am on 22 March.

  • Airports and harbours will be closed for both domestic and international travel. . . no planes will land or take off for 24 hours.
  • All shops and offices are closed.
  • No one is allowed on the beach or on the streets.
  • No motor vehicles are allowed (except ambulances, police, and in case of emergencies).
  • At night, all lights will be turned off.
  • Hotel guests are asked to remain on the hotel premises (but are free to enjoy the hotel facilities as usual)

The day before Nyepi, you will see a parade characterized by a very unusual procession of Oogh-Oogh. . . giant monsters. Symbolizing bad spirits, the Oogh-Oogh handmade paper statues are paraded through the streets of Bali.  At each intersection, the monster is spun around counter-clockwise three times in order to confuse the spirit and drive it away from the island.  At the end of the procession, the Oogh-Oogh monster is burnt to rid its evil from Bali.

On the day following Nyepi, Balinese Hindus visit family members, neighbors and relatives to ask for (and to give) forgiveness – similar to the Muslim’s Ied Al Fitri custom in other parts of Indonesia.

Nyepi, Balinese New Year

Nyepi, Balinese New Year