Melasti ceremony one day before Nyepi. (Shutterstock/A Hie)
Nyepi might be silent, but there are interesting events to see before and after the day itself.Retno Wulandari 24 March 2017 18:10
Nyepi or the Day of Silence is a holiday to celebrate Hindu New Year, which is largely commemorated in Bali. The day is reserved for self-reflection, where Balinese have to stay at home to pray and contemplate, prohibited from any daily routine, work, travel, turn on the lights, set the fire or having entertainment. Even tourists have to stay at their hotels.
However, the days surrounding Nyepi are the busiest days in Bali. There are numbers of ceremonies before and after the Day of Silence, and people are making a huge, eerie-looking effigies to be burned during the ceremony.
Here are some interesting facts about Nyepi you need to know.
1. Nyepi day helps reduce the emission of carbon dioxide in Indonesia by approximately 20,000 tonnes.
2. The United Nations designated a "World Silent Day" every March 21. The day was inspired by the Nyepi Day.
3. In a day of Nyepi in Bali saves electricity by 60 percent, or about 290 megawatts. It’s equal to Rp 4 billion.
4. Ogoh-ogoh, the giant effigies that look like demons, are made several days before Nyepi to be burned during the Ngerupukan ceremony.
5. Ogoh-ogoh will be paraded around the village on the eve before Nyepi and then it will be burned in the town or village hall.
6. Ogoh-ogoh are intricately made by local artists. They represent evil spirits called Bhuta-kala in Hindu teachings. Burning them symbolizes the purification of human and nature from the bad things.
7. The Melasti ritual is held two to four days prior Nyepi. It’s a ceremony to cleanse and purify the souls of the performers.
8. The ceremony usually takes place on a beach, and those who carry it out are usually in a state of trance.
9. Balinese people also gather in front of their houses to prepare offerings for the ritual, one day prior Nyepi.
10. Nyepi helps save fuel as much as 500,000 liters of diesel, equivalent to Rp 3 billion. This is a result of the inactivity of two power plants in Pemaron and Gilimanuk, Bali.
11. One day after Nyepi, Balinese people hold a kissing festival known as Omed-Omedan. During the ceremony, young people gather to pray, and then to dance and kiss each other as the spectators flush them with water. The ceremony is said to chase bad luck away.