Blog / Bali / The Balinese New Year – Nyepi Day
The Balinese New Year – Nyepi Day

The Balinese New Year – Nyepi Day

The Magic of Nyepi and Bali’s Unique Day of Silence

Here in Bali, you’ll find New Year celebrations unlike anywhere else in the world. The Balinese Hindu New Year celebrations last for 6 days, each day with it’s own purpose and meaning including Nyepi Day, a whole Day of Silence. On this day, our Island home comes to a complete stop for a full 24 hours. For the Balinese, this is a sacred time to purify the Island of evil spirits and for everyone else it can be a magical time to fully immerse yourself in authentic local traditions.  

If this is your first time here on the Island for Nyepi or you’re planning to visit in the future, here are some things you should know about the Nyepi celebrations.

Balinese woman praying

When is Nyepi?

2022 Nyepi is just around the corner. This year it falls on the 3rd of March, 2022. The Day of Silence will start at 6am and finish 24 hours later on the 4th of March. 

The Pecalang (local watchmen) will be making sure no one ventures outside (emergency services aside) and all lights, music and T.V’s are off. 

The date is different every year so if you’re wanting to visit the Island to experience this special celebration make sure to check the dates in advance. 

Future Nyepi Day dates:

  • 22 March 2023
  • 11 March 2024
  • 29 March 2025

Melasti

Melasti ceremonies take place on the first day of a new “Caka” year, two days before Nyepi. If you’re around the coast on this day you’ll bear witness to thousands of people from different villages parading the Hindu God Symbols to the beach in a beautiful procession. Here they will perform the biggest purification ceremony of the year. 

Melasti-Ceremony
Melasti Ceremony on a Bali beach

During melasti, both people (Bhuwana Alit) and the larger world or Universe around them (Bhuwana Agung) are purified, cleansed of bad thoughts, deeds and negative influences through the ‘Tirta Amerta’ or “the water of life. Balinese believe that Bhuwana Agung and Bhuwana Alit exist within one-another. 

Visually it’s the most stunning sight, people mostly dressed in white with bouties of colourful fruit and offerings for the gods, this in juxtaposition to the beach is a sight not to be missed.

The Ogoh Ogoh Parades

The day before Nyepi hosts one of the most special nights – the ‘Ngrupuk’ or ‘Ogoh Ogoh’ parades and they are definitely one you’ll want to look out for – hint: you’ll hear them coming long before you see them!

During the sunset hour 5pm-6pm the Balinese will parade through the streets of their villiages carrying the gigantic “Ogoh Ogoh ” statues. The ‘Ogoh Ogohs’ take the shapes of evil, mythological gods and creatures and represent the Bhuta Kala (eternal energy and time). The hideous creatures made from light wood, bamboo, paper and styrofoam take months to make and the Balinese enjoy the creation process (some with late night techno music and possibly some arak) but it’s also an activity the children love to do as well. We’ve heard some of the villages compete with each other for the scariest, biggest and most amazing creatures. 

ogoh ogoh
Ogoh Ogoh in the streets

During the procession you’ll hear deafening gamelan and drum music, designed to scare the evil spirit. The ‘Ogoh-ogoh’ are also rotated counter-clockwise three times at every T-junction and crossroad of the village. All of this leaves them so confused they should leave the Island! The ‘Ogoh Ogoh’s are finally burnt in a ceremony and the celebrations go late into the night in preparation for the following day of silence. 

 Don’t forget during this time there might be some travel delays and road closures, even around our store – don’t get too frustrated, if you need to be somewhere try to stop, watch, enjoy and simply experience the magical atmosphere!

Nyepi Day

The day of Silence. In contrast to the ‘Ogoh Ogoh’ parades on the previous evening, the day of silence is said to trick the evil spirits into thinking the Island is deserted, in turn the spirit will leave the Island evil-free and cleansed for another year!

It’s all about prohibitions! The Balinese fully immerse themselves in what’s known as Catur Brata Penyepian, or the 4 prohibitions;

  • Amati Karya (no work)
  • Amati Geni (no fire, no light, and no electricity)
  • Amati Lelungan (no travelling)
  • Amati Lelanguan (no entertainment). 

Yes, this means the whole island takes a deep breath and comes to a complete stop for those 24 hours. Shops, beaches and restaurants will be closed (including us!) and all transport comes to a halt – even the airport and airspace above the Island! 

Everyone, including non-Hindu residents and visitors are also expected to follow these “rules”. Don’t worry, as a foreigner, you’re allowed to move around your home as normal, providing that sound and light are kept to an absolute minimum.

So what do you do when you can’t leave your home or hotel? 

We suggest doing as the Balinese will do; rest, relax and rejuvenate. 

The main purpose of ‘Nyepi Day’ is to pray for the purification of humanity, the Earth, and the universe, cleansing any negative energies to start the year with a clean slate (think Sage stick cleansing personified). (View our range of essential oils, cleansing sage, palo santo and candles here.) 

If that’s not your thing, we suggest taking advantage of the enforced downtime to get stuck into that book you’ve been meaning to read, start journalling, listen to a podcast, do some breathwork, practise intermittent fasting, drink juices, prepare simple nourishing foods (try our favourite organic dips with some chips or veggies), treat yourself to an at home facial (view our range of natural beauty and self care here) or a good old fashioned game of cards. 

chips and dips

HOT TIP: If you haven’t already, now is the time to stock up on everything you’ll need for Nyepi Day as the shops are often busy and shelves bare. We do our best to prepare for this week but know it might be busy in both our stores and online customer service. Please be patient with us, we’re doing the best we can! 

 

Have a magical Nyepi everyone and don’t forget to go outside and look up at the stars if it’s a clear night.

With love and gratitude from the Alive Team! 

Bali night sky stars

 

2022 OPENING HOURS AROUND NYEPI

We are  closed on Nyepi day and will remain open our regular trading hours every other day! 

Wednesday 2nd March – 8am – 930pm

Thursday 3rd March – CLOSED

Friday 4th March – 8am – 930pm

 

 

671 Views

0 comment

Login first to write comment!

Search

Forgot Password

Enter your email. We'll email instructions on how to reset your password.

Password reset sent!

You'll receive an email if you are registered on our system

Filter