The Day of Silence
Known as the "Day of Silence" Nyepi is an annual celebration and religious observance commemorated in Bali every Isakawarsa (Saka new year). This year, according to the Balinese calendar, it falls on 17th March. Nyepi is a day reserved for self-reflection, meditation, fasting and silence. Strict rules are adhered to across the island: lighting of fires is prohibited (and lights must be kept low); no work is permitted; no entertainment or pleasure;
no travelling; and, for some, no talking or eating at all. Although Nyepi is primarily a Hindu holiday, non-Hindu residents of Bali observe the day of silence as well, out of respect for their fellow citizens. Even tourists are not exempt; although free to do as they wish inside their hotels, no one is allowed onto the beaches or streets, and the only airport in Bali remains closed for the entire day.
The Melasti Ritual is performed 3-4 days in advance of Nyepi. It is dedicated to Sanghyang Widhi Wasa. The ritual is performed in Balinese temples (Pura) near the sea in order to purify sacred objects (Arca, Pratima, and Pralingga) belonging to several temples, and to acquire sacred water from the sea.
The Bhuta Yajna Ritual is performed in order to vanquish negative elements and create a balance with God, Mankind and Nature. The ritual is also meant to appease Batara Kala through Pecaruan offerings. Devout Hindu Balinese villages usually make ogoh-ogoh; 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.
Note: In 2018, this ritual will be performed on 16th March 2018 (starting around 6PM until around midnight).
Nyepi: Dos and Don'ts
• Amati Geni : No fire or light, including no electricity
• Amati Karya : No working
• Amati Lelunganan : No travelling
• Amati Lelanguan : Fasting and no revelry/self-entertainment
the Yoga/Brata Ritual starts on 17th March 2018 at 6AM and continues to the next day, 18th March 2018 at 6AM.
the Ngembak Agni/Labuh Brata Ritual is performed for all Hindus to forgive each other and to welcome the new days to come.
and finally, The Dharma Shanti Rituals are performed after all the Nyepi rituals have finished.