Nyepi is the Balinese New Year and means “Silence Day”. This happens (on a different date) each year because in Saka calendar a year has 420 days. The Saka calendar is based on the phases of the moon and the new year it is commemorated after the new moon.
A new year in Bali is celebrated unlike anywhere else in the world. Nyepi is that magical Hindu day where nobody can leave the house. This means empty streets, no electricity, no traveling (the airport is closed) and no lights during the night. It’s a very special day as the Balinese pay respect to the gods of nature by giving them and hisselfs also, a little break from human routine. How magic sounds that!
A few days before “Silence Day” a lot of special rituals happening. During festival you can see Balinese women in traditional clothes carrying big decorated baskets on their head to the temples. The beautiful ceremony is held to satisfy and honor the gods with offerings such as rice, fruit, and flowers. Offerings are made daily on the island of Bali, but during religious festivals, the ceremony is grander than ordinary.
First ceremony is three days before Nyepi, it calls: MELASTI CEREMONY and intended to cleanse and purify the souls of the Balinese Hindu participants. You can see parades people walking to the sea or other water sources in their white sarongs. These are believed by Hindus as a place to purify all the elements of this universe.
The next ritual and more famous is the night before Nyepi, there are usually grand street parades with hugely decorated statues called Ogoh Ogoh, it is believed that these demon-like figures catch and carry bad spirits and are ritualistically burned after the parade… this will only be happening on a very small scale this year due to the virus COVID-19.
During the day of silence, which begins at 6 am and ends at 6 am of the other day, the Balinese follow a ritual with four prohibitions:
- • “AMATI GENI” or without fire
- • “AMATI LELUNGAN” does not travel
- • “AMATI KARYA” without activity
- • “AMATI LELANGUAN” without entertainment
These restrictions are taken very seriously by all people, who are followers of this religion and who are not, also, even tourists must respect this sacred day by staying within the hotel areas. This is the very special day on the island that happens only once a year. Travel is only allowed for emergency purposes. An special security that they called PECALANG, patrol the streets to observe compliance with the rules of the Day of Silence.
The main idea behind Nyepi is to clean up the island to start the year away from evil spirits and negativity, and it is an important day of self-reflection …
We believe and trust that everything happens at the right time.
And this is a good time to invite everyone to celebrate Nyepi. Because this could be our only small act to save us and save the earth for our future generation.
Odysseys surf School is closed to commemorate Nyepi day and coincidence with the COVID 19 prevention, our operation hours will be back on March 27th 2020 at 08.00 AM.
Article contributed by: Chechu