What is Nyepi?
“Nyepi” in Bahasa Bali which means silent, is the day to commemorate every Isakawarsa or New Year in Saka Calendar. It falls on the day following the new moon of the Hindu month of Chaitra (usually in March or April).
On Nyepi Day, the entire island of Bali comes to a complete halt. The Balinese people observe a day of silence, fasting, and meditation. The whole island shuts down for a full 24 hours, and the streets are off limits to everyone. Even the airport closes for a full day, with planes being reroute above so not to disturb the silence below. This most magical and unique culture in Bali. It can be found nowhere else in the world other than on this enchanting little island.
What’s the Purpose of Nyepi?
According to the Hindu belief, Nyepi is a day reserve for a self-reflection through complete stillness in the physical and spiritual worlds.
Observed from 6 AM until 6 AM the next morning, the day requisite complete silence without any noise, traffic, fire, internet and lights. The goal is to create a peaceful and meditative atmosphere, allowing everyone to reflect on their actions and intentions. It is an excellent example of how a community can come together to celebrate and observe a shared belief in a meaningful and powerful way.
The Sequence of Ritual
Melasti (Melis or Mekiis) is the first ritual dedicated to the God (Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa) in Pura near the sea. This Ritual is perform 3–4 days beforehand. The ritual meant to purify Arca, Pratima, and Pralingga (sacred objects) belonging to several temples, also to acquire sacred water from the sea.
There’s second ritual the one day before Nyepi, called “Pengrupukan“. The ritual will be followed by a procession of Ogoh-ogoh, which are distinct Balinese giant paper puppets. Furthermore, the Ogoh-ogoh that symbol the evil spirit will all be torched in a joyous conflagration. As in Bali Safari Park, we also perform the procession of Ogoh-ogoh on March 21st, 2023 to appreciate the local culture.
The moment Nyepi Day start, it mandates a day of complete silence based on four percepted of Catur Brata Penyepian. Amati Geni means no fire and light allowed, Amati Karya means no working, Amati Lelungan means no traveling and Amati Lelanguan means no entertainment.
On the day after Nyepi, known as Ngembak Geni (Relighting the Fire), social activity picks up again quickly. As families and friends gather to ask forgiveness from one another, and to perform certain religious rituals together.