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Home > All About Bali > Calendar > Nyepi
 
Nyepi
 
 
Nyepi Day, The Day of Absolute Silence
 
On Thursday, 30 March 2006, Hindu people in Bali commemorate the Nyepi Day (Saka New Year 1928), the day of absolute silence for Hindu people. Nyepi is derived from the word 'sepi' which means silent. Since the world is considered clean in the beginning of the year, the Balinese people celebrate the coming of the New Year with meditation instead of partying.

On Nyepi Day, all Hindu people must do four customs of implementation the Nyepi Day (Catur Brata Penyepian). There should not be fire (amati geni) nor works or activities to do (amati karya). People won't be allowed to have fun (amati lelanguan) nor to travel (amati lelungan). These prohibitions are intended to control themselves and surrender to God.

During Nyepi Day, which begins at sunrise and continues for the next twenty-four hours, people have to stay in their own houses. There will be no lights in the house, no sounds of radio or television, and no works. It is absolutely silence. The entire Bali is just like a deserted island during the day.

Visitors to Bali definitely need to be aware of Nyepi Day, as they will not be able to go anywhere on this day. All the flights at the International Ngurah Rai Airport, harbor and other kinds of transportation are closed all day long. Lights in public areas, corridors and balconies will be switched off. All recreational places will be temporarily closed.

Before and after Nyepi Day, there are a few ceremonies need to be done by Balinese people, as follows:
 
Melasti
Three days before Nyepi is called Melasti, a purification ceremony, when the villagers purify the statues (pratima) with water. The ceremony is meant to clean all nature and its content, and also to take the Amerta (the source for eternal life) from the ocean or other water resources.

These are days when the villagers, dressed in their finest, walk in lines towards a holy spring, river, or the sea. In this procession, the women carry offerings of fruits, sweet cakes, and flowers, and the men carry long-poled umbrellas and carry the sacred family statues on bamboo litters. Water is used to wash the statues, and holy men sacrifice pigs, to be used as offerings to the Gods.
 
Tawur Kesanga
One day before Nyepi is called Tawur Kesanga which means to purify Buana Agung (macro cosmos) and Bhuana Alit (micro cosmos) as well as neutralize negative power from evil spirits.

Tawur Kesanga ceremony usually begins with Ogoh-Ogoh parade. Ogoh-Ogoh is a giant bamboo statue with fangs, bulging eyes and scary hair to symbolize evil spirits (Bhuta Kalla). The Ogoh-Ogoh parades are held all over Bali after sunset, accompanied by Bleganjur, a Balinese gamelan music.

In the evening, the Balinese people celebrate Ngerupuk, when they start making noises and light burning torches and set fire to the Ogoh-Ogoh in order to get the evil spirits out of people’s lives.
 
Nyepi
On Nyepi Day, there is no transportation, no fires may be lit, no work is done and no one should be seen on the roads. Silence is important so that the evil spirits, which were aroused the night before, will think that Bali is empty and will, therefore, leave the island.

During Nyepi Day, only Pecalang (traditional Balinese security men) are allowed to be on the street. They wear a black uniform and Balinese traditional hat (destar). Their tasks are to control and check for street security as well as to stop any activities that disturb Nyepi.
 
Ngembak Geni
The day after Nyepi is called Ngembak Geni, the day when Catur Berata Penyepian (Nyepi) is over. Success of controlling themselves, people share happiness by visiting their relatives and friend. The New Year is started by forgiving each other and forget the hate in the past year and work together to face the challenge of the New Year.
 
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