Nyepi in Bali – Celebrating the Balinese New Year

Category: Bali monthly events, Bali updated news

Nyepi is one of the most sacred celebrations for Balinese and Hindu. Nyepi is a Balinese ‘Day of Silence that is celebrated every Saka New Year (Balinese calendar), and the day following Nyepi is celebrated as the Hindu or Balinese New year. This year, the Nyepi day will fall on March 12, 2013. Be prepared….

The Balinese is starting the Nyepi day from 6.00am – 6.00am the next morning and there are many restrictions and rituals such as; no lighting fires (and lights must be kept low) – Amati Geni; no working – Amati Karya; no entertainment or pleasure and no traveling – Amati Lelungan; and for some, no talking or eating at all – Amati Lelanguan. All the bustling and busy streets in Bali are empty, people stay in their house, no noise from TV and radio, and only few activities in houses. The only people seen in streets are pecalang – the Balinese traditional security who patrol the streets.

Although Nyepi is a  Hindu holiday, but all the non-Hindu residents in Bali observe this Silence Day as well. Even tourists are not exempt, they are free to do all the activities inside the hotels, not allowed to go to the beach or streets. The International Aiprot in Bali remains close also for the entire day and no activities are allowed to happen this day. No flight arrival or departure, no one in the airport. The only exception is only for those emergency vehicles carrying emergency patients or women about to give birth.

There are some rituals for the Balinese for celebrating Nyepiday – the New Year;

Melasti Ritual. This ritual is performed normally 3-4 days beforehand, in almost all Pura (The Hindu holy temple) in Bali.  This is to purify all the holy Arca, and Pratima (sacred objects) to the beach and at the end bring the holy water from the sea.

Ngerupuk. This is the most interesting part of the whole rituals before Nyepi. The ritual is started with the pecaruan (the ritual to balancing the most 3 power in the world – God, Mankind and Nature) in every house. This is alo meant to appease the Kala (the evil). After this, there will be ogoh ogoh parade – demonic statues made of bamboo and paper symbolizing negative elements or malevolent spirits. After the ogoh-ogoh have been paraded around the village, the Ngrupuk ritual takes place, which involves burning the ogoh-ogoh.

Nyepi. Where all people will do the Silence rituals.

Ngembak Geni. People will visit families for forgiving each other and welcoming the new year.

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