The “Day of Silence” in Bali, known as Nyepi Day, that occurs on March 17, 2018, is an occasion unique to any other in the world. If you’re planning a trip to Bali this year, you’ll want to read up on the details of Nyepi and how it affects you as a visitor. At Blue Karma, we’re happy to help with the details below.
Pic credit: Oukas.info
Nyepi is a New Year celebration, but it’s not the kind of party you’d expect—it’s pretty much the opposite. During this Bali Day of Silence, for 24 hours beginning at 6am, all normal activities cease.
Traffic stops on the Bali roads. Locals don’t venture outside of their area. No activities continue or ensue. Even lights are left off as it gets dark outside. Patrol men known as pecalang can be seen in the streets during Nyepi making sure the rules are followed and enforced. The day is taken very seriously!
The day is an opportunity to relax, sit in meditation or thought, and also to give the Mother Nature a day of rest and rejuvenation from human beings.
Papier-mache statues known as ogoh-ogoh are made in the weeks before Nyepi and displayed in the streets and in meeting halls throughout Bali. These statues are intricately built to look like mythical beings. Their purposes are to purify the environment around them.
The night before Nyepi, New Year’s Eve, is the complete opposite of the New Year Day, full of noise and celebration.
Each household in Bali performs blessings at their family temple and chases away forces known as bhuta kala by making lots of noise, banging pots and pans in the home, and lighting bamboo torches. The ogoh-ogoh statues are manifestations of these spirits.
Anyone walking out into the streets on Nyepi Eve, which starts about 7pm, would see and hear firecrackers, parade processions in the streets, and bamboo cannons going off.
Don’t expect to travel to Bali on Nyepi Day, as transportation and the airport stops along with everything else. Whether you’re coming or going, back sure your travel day is not on March 17th if you’re travelling in 2018. The following year’s dates are:
If you’re staying at a Bali hotel for Nyepi, prepare to stay within your hotel premises during the entire Silent Day. You don’t have to participate in every aspect of Nyepi, such as leaving all lights off (unless you would like to), and can enjoy the hotel offerings as before.
However, any normal activities around the island, including restaurants, bars, and beaches, won’t be happening. It’s a great opportunity to participate in the Silent Day! Kick back and enjoy the soothing sounds of Bali or open up that book you’ve been meaning to read.
Blue Karma is happy to accommodate you during your trip to Bali this year, whether or not you’re here during Nyepi. Our staff are friendly and eager to ensure your stay provides a luxurious experience of Bali culture and everything it has to offer. Check out our conveniently-located hotel in both Ubud and Seminyak to book a stay today!