Nyepi Day, or Bali’s Day of Silence, falls on Tuesday the 28th of March this year. If you are in Bali on this day, you will be prohibited from leaving your home, villa or hotel from 6am on March 28th until sunrise on March 29th. For anyone who hasn’t been in Bali for Nyepi before, we’re going to tell you what Nyepi is all about!
Preparation for Nyepi
In the week running up to Nyepi you might find the traffic is heavier than usual and there are a lot of ceremonies on the beaches. This is the time that whole villages undertake the Melasti ceremonies to cleanse themselves for the coming year.
You’ve also probably heard about the parades of effigies of demons and evil spirits that are a fantastic spectacle for locals and tourists alike. These happen the day before Nyepi, during Ngrupuk ceremonies where the effigies are paraded through each village to scare and confuse evil spirits lurking in the villages.
What is Nyepi?
On the Balinese Saka calendar, Nyepi falls on Isakawarsa, the first of the 210 days of the calendar. Hence, sometimes being referred to as the Balinese New Year. On this day, the Balinese stay in their family compounds, not cooking, using electricity or making too much noise. They believe that on this day, evil spirits visit Bali and finding the island seemingly uninhabited, decide to leave and find somewhere else to make trouble.
What Will I Do All Nyepi Day?
During Nyepi Day you will have to stay within your hotel or resort. You will also be asked to close your curtains so the lights inside the room cannot be seen. Most hotel restaurants and other facilities are still open, although some may be working with a smaller staff. So, basically you’ll have a day of relaxing, swimming, enjoying food and drinks and even a spa treatment or two if you want! Some hotels offer special deals on food and drink and even have extra entertainment on for kids and adults.
What if I Need to Go Out?
Some people might worry about being prohibited from going out, however, the Pecalang (village security) will allow people through for medical emergencies as well as pregnant women in labor. Otherwise, they are the only people out patrolling the roads, and you can be fined or even arrested if you are found on the streets.
Photo Credit: InterContinental Bali
Make Sure You Have Everything You Need for Nyepi Day
A lot of people go a bit mad before Nyepi, and the lines at the supermarkets the day before often look like the apocalypse is coming, so get a few things you might need together a couple of days before. If you need to buy nappies, milk, formula or medicine be prepared, but remember the shops are only closed for 1 day! Get a good book ready and enjoy the quiet, the brightness of the stars and moon with no street lamps and the fact that there is no pressure to do anything at all for a whole 24 hours!