Nyepi or silent day is a part of important Balinese ceremonies that marks a new year based on Balinese Hindu calendar. Nyepi will fall on 25-26 March in 2020. While the Balinese follow the Gregorian calendar for business and government purposes, holy days are calculated on the traditional lunar calendar, so the date changes each year. Moreover, Nyepi has sequence that starts three days beforehand. Here are things to know about Nyepi or silent day 1942 Saka
The sequence begins with Melasti, a purification ceremony. The Melasti Ritual is performed 3–4 days beforehand and dedicated to the god. The Hindus escorted sacred effigies of gods and goddesses and ritual paraphernalia from their village temples to all of the source of water such as waterfalls, lakes and sea that are considered as the source of life by Hindus. They clean the effigies and themselves as a represents of purification ceremony before eventually bringing the sacred effigies of gods back to their village. Gamelan instruments accompanying processions of walking from the village to the water source.
In a particular town, there are also ceremonies like no other. In Denpasar, some of Banjar or the smallest part of the community run Omed-Omedan, locally known as ‘The Kissing Ritual’. The name is derived from the Balinese language and means “pull”. It is a ceremony held by the young people as a reflection of a fight between a male and female pig and represents the push and pull of positive and negative elements. It is believed that the ritual has been around for at least more than a hundred years and has become a ceremony for the youth of village to express their joy. In common, the ceremony involves unmarried youths with ages ranging from 17-30 years old. The procession begins with praying to invoke safety among the youths who get involved and separated the man and women. After receiving the signal from the leader, both sides of man and women approach the center and start to pull and kiss the female participants while the adults or villages surrounded the stage and throw loads of water to the center.
Next sequence, a day before the celebration of Nyepi, Balinese Hindus run a spiritual ceremony so-called Pengrupukan, a purification process followed by Ogoh-Ogoh Parade which takes place on the eve of Nyepi. Around sunset the the ceremony begins in the house compounds with the noisy banging of pots and pans and bamboo tubes along with burning of dried coconut leaf torches to drive out the demons. Most villages or banjar also make ogoh-ogoh, demonic statues made of richly painted bamboo, cloth, tinsel, and styrofoam symbolizing negative elements or malevolent spirits or even characters from Hindu mythology. Some of them are being made 2-3 months beforehand. After the ogoh-ogoh have been paraded around the village, they are burned in the cemeteries although many are displayed in front of community halls for another month or more and sometimes even purchased by museums and collectors. In Denpasar and Badung regency, Ogoh-Ogoh being an annual festival that attracts many tourists around the world. These regions are also known as the center of the biggest Ogoh-Ogoh all over the island and the most unique one.
Final consequence of things to know about Nyepi or silent day is, when it comes, Balinese Hindu will perform several commandment as follows: Amati Geni or no fire or light including no electricity. Amati Karya or no working. Amati Lelunganan or no travelling and Amati Lelanguan or no revelry/self-entertainment.
Things to do for Non-Hindu during Nyepi
Non-Hindu people are also required to follow the rule. Some of them stay at home and others choose to leave the Island for a moment. For tourists or those who are visiting Bali at the time of Nyepi, hotel restaurants and other facilities are usually open but you won’t be able to leave your accommodation and no one can check-in. If you’re in a private villa you’ll be expected to keep the noise down and lights off, even if you choose not to observe total silence. The largely Hindu Indonesian island celebrates Silent Day by completely shutting down for 24 hours. Shops are closing early, ATMs aren’t working and streets are being closed. Religious rules state there should be no traffic, no fire, no work and no pleasure. Streets are eerily empty, shops and restaurants remain closed, the beaches are shut, there’s no transport – even the airport closes – and the pecalang, community police go on patrol, ensuring compliance and reprimanding anyone who steps outside their premises. If you are not sure what to do during Nyepi, read this article and this