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Bali Blog - Article About Bali Holiday Island

Nyepi or Silence Day as New Year Celebration in Bali

27 November 2014

The world celebrates New Year, mostly follows the regular Gregorian calendar, but there are a handful of cultures and religions that use different measurement, for example the Chinese New Year of Muharam (the Islamic New Year),

Most of them are celebrated in a festival and extravagant ambience, but in Bali, the Hindu society cheers their new year with silence and contemplative moment, which the call it Nyepi, The Silence Day.

bali nyepi silence day

Nyepi Dai is celebrated by Hindu Society in Bali on the day following the dark moon of the spring equinox and open a new year of the Saka Hindu era, which begin in 78 A.D. Nyepi Day is celebrated fully, means all activities are prohibited for one day, which not only apply to the Hindus but also for everyone living in Bali or happens to be on the island for holiday. This unique tradition are preserved, maintained and well respected, because the pollution level can be significantly reduced for at least one day, cleaning the air from tons of gas emitting from modern vehicles, this keeping the balance between humanity and natures as the tradition originally intentioned.

There are several days leading to the procession of Nyepi, first there is a day called Melasti, which begin three days prior to Nyepi. This is basically a “Day of Cleaning” where all the effigies of the Gods from all the villages’ temples are taken to the river or sea in long and colorful ceremonies. There, they are bathed by the Neptune of Balinese Lord, the God Baruna, before being taken back home to the shrines.

Then there is Tawur Kesangga, celebrated one day before Nyepi, where all villages in Bali perform a large exorcism ceremony. During the ceremony, people carry big statue called Ogoh Ogoh, symbolizing the demon and evil spirit inhabiting the island and after parading around the city or villages, the Ogoh Ogoh is finally set on fire. This festival is called the Ngerupuk, where all the Balinese will gather and make noises. This traditions are believed to get rid of Buta Khala (evil spirit) lured and trapped inside the Ogoh Ogoh statue, in further purpose of restoring the physical and spirit balance of the island.

One day after Nyepi is the day of Ngembak Geni, where all the Balinese Hindu visits each other to retaliate and forgive each other and this tradition is call Dharma Shanti.

From the religious and philosophy point of view, Nyepi is meant to be a day of self introspection, preserving, the good value of humanity from peace, patience and kindness, love that should be kept forever. Although Bali is filled with ceremonies and cultures, Nyepi remains as the most important and highly anticipated tradition celebration and respected not only by the certain community but all the inhabitants.

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