The Silent Day of Celebrating New Year
Nyepi is in two days! The day where all Hindu-Balinese celebrate their end of the year through silence, fasting, and meditation- practices of self-control and self-reflection. The Day of Silence, as it's literally called, is a moment where the island stopped its entire activity, in order to purify the whole atmosphere in ultimate tranquility. Not a single person or vehicle is allowed outside for 24 hours in Nyepi. Here we are some of the most interesting information about Nyepi to fuel your curiosity of this one-of-a-kind holiday.
Silent Day Reduces the Pollution Level Significantly
Due to the regulation of Nyepi that forbids anyone in the island except Pecalang (Community Patrol) to go outside or having any activities for a day, Silent Day helps to cleanse the air of pollution caused by vehicle usage. Approximately 20,000 tons of Carbon Dioxide are reduced on the day. Not only that, since traveling is prohibited, it helps the local government to save fuel for around one million liters. Globally, Nyepi contributes to help reduce the greenhouse gas emission by 33%.
Photo by Ruben Hutabarat
Nyepi Day Inspires the World Silent Day
Nyepi day is widely acclaimed as a fantastic effort to reduce pollution. An organization called CCC (Collaboration for Climate Change), initiated the World Silent Day based on Nyepi, and it has been officially approved by the United Nations. World Silent Day is set every March 21st. It aims to decrease all human activities around the globe that would bring bad impacts to the earth, such as global warming or climate change.
The Before and After of Silent Day Celebration
Nyepi is a grand celebration for Balinese Hindu believers. In-between the 24-hours of tranquility, it is celebrated with utmost festivity through several events. The night before Nyepi is reserved for Ogoh-Ogoh Parade, where local people from each Banjar community will go out, carrying many forms and shapes of 'Ogoh-Ogoh' statues. These statues were made from styrofoam and bamboo to symbolize the evil spirit, and will be paraded around the city. Everyone can participate and witness this incredible parade, and you will see many streets filled with people.
Then, a day after Nyepi, another unique festival called 'Omed-Omedan' will take place. It is a ritual of hugging, tugging and kissing between two groups of young men and women from the Banjar community. This festival will always be held at the same place: the street of Sesetan, Denpasar. The youth will be separated into two big groups and 'clash' one another, while doused with water. The purpose of this ritual is to maintain good relationships with society and chase bad luck away.
Photo by Ninjuko
The Nyepi Night Sky
Not only the ultimate tranquility and fresh air, Nyepi is also known to have the best night view. Since there will be no pollution or artificial light from electric lamps whatsoever, the night sky will naturally be way brighter than usual. This makes hundreds of thousands of stars visible during the night. Unfortunately, you are still not allowed to go outside on Nyepi night, but if you can, gaze unto the starry sky from your window or rooftop to witness one of the most magnificent scenery ever.
This year Nyepi falls on Wednesday 22nd of March 2023. Get informed regarding all the rules and regulations so you will be able to have the most enjoyable and majestic celebration of the Balinese Hindu new year. Stock up with your favorite food and drinks, books, video games, or movies and enjoy a full 24-hours of utmost tranquility. Some internet connection providers may be officially shut down during Nyepi, but most villas, hotels or homestays have wi-fi providers that would still function during the day. Some important places such as hospitals will also be operating normally in case of emergency, and electricity is still allowed in public staying places such as five-star hotels and resorts. Bottom line, you will not lose anything by staying in Bali during Nyepi Day, yet you may experience a whole new world you have never experienced before, a complete silence, pitch black night sky and the cleanest air the next day.
Enjoy your Silent Day!
by Billy Bagus