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The Nyepi day itself will start on March 9, at 6 a.m.

Victoria Tunggono   07 March 2016 15:11

Brilio.net - If you are planning to spend your next holiday in Bali this week, you will see the unique experience of Nyepi day. Nyepi, otherwise known as Silence Day, is a Hindu holiday that indicates the change of Çaka year (read: Saka). Çaka year consists of 12 months with each month containing 30 days. This year, the Çaka year falls on March 9, 2016.

The Nyepi celebration starts a day before, which is Pengerupukan day. On that day all Hindus will go out to see the Ogoh-Ogoh parade, which is the symbol of evil in human life. The parade will show Ogoh-Ogoh statues made out of resin or other materials, and some background story will be told. Each Banjar (a neighborhood association in Bali) will represent an Ogoh-Ogoh for a competition so all Banjars are putting in their maximum efforts to create the most intricate Ogoh-Ogoh.

Ogoh-Ogoh parade is usually held at 6-7p.m. at each village or area. In Badung regency, some famous areas to watch the parade are at Kuta Raya, Nusa Dua, Pasar Kerobokan and Sesetan. You can ask your hotel receptionist, landlord or Balinese neighbor for the nearest place to watch Ogoh-Ogoh. This is really a unique parade that you must watch at least once. After announcing the winners for the parade, the Ogoh-Ogoh will be burnt as a symbol to set evil on fire, in order for people to be pure and at peace on Nyepi Day.

Ogoh-ogoh via theislandhotelbali.com

The Nyepi day itself will start on March 9, at 6 a.m. People should use the day to stay at home, reflecting on their lives and fasting. Until 6 a.m. the next morning no activity is allowed, especially light or noise of any kind. This will be harder at night time, so if you are not sure you could get through the night in darkness and silence, make sure you cover all windows with black-out curtains or old newspaper and have your earphones ready if you want to watch or listen to anything from your gadgets. Some Pecalang (Balinese police) are stricter in certain areas and they don’t like finding people in the street, hearing loud noises or seeing any light.

Pecalang via itsme.co.id

The whole island will be in total silence. No shops will be open, and even the airport will be closed for a day. There will be no activity throughout the island, so preparing for 2-days of silence is essential if you’re going to be in Bali during the holiday. People will start shopping for groceries 2-3 days before Nyepi for there will be no restaurant open. But some hotels offer Nyepi day packages, which features a 2-nights stay in and they will provide food and allow access to other facilities in the hotel complex. If you plan to stay over, make sure the hotel has the facilities you will need for the whole 2 days.

People are finally allowed to leave their homes at 6 a.m. on March 10, 2016 and usually use the moment to visit families and friends to wish themselves a happy new year. I personally think this event is a special one, especially if you have outdoor access (inside your resort complex or house yard) and the sky is clear so that you can watch the mesmerizing starry night. This is certainly a one of a kind experience that all people should try—at least to test your ability in getting through a day-full of silence.



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