What you need to know about Bali’s day of silence

Bali Nyepi Day 2017 – A Day of Silence

Imagine a day when everything falls silent; you don’t hear any traffic in the streets, no loud TV from your neighbor’s flat. You don’t need to rush to work nor to the supermarket. In fact you are not rushing anywhere. Today you are staying at home with your family and loved ones, using the time to rest and contemplate.

Too good to be true? Well, a day like this does become reality once a year on the island of Bali. It’s called Nyepi, and for Balinese Hindus it is one of the most important of celebrations. However, it comes with a number of rules that should be followed carefully.

Nyepi marks the start of a new year in the local Hindu calendar. It is literally a “Day of Silence”; a day reserved for self-reflection and meditation. Thus everything that could interfere with this purpose is strictly forbidden. The whole island of Bali “shuts down”: all businesses, shops, cafes and restaurants are closed for the day. There is no traffic, and even the busy international airport at Denpasar shuts down completely.  Not only is work forbidden, but also any sort of entertainment such as TV or radio. There should be no talking and also no eating.

Tourists that are on vacation in Bali are no exception to these rules. Although they can use the premises of the resorts they are staying at (like swimming pool or gym), they are not allowed to wander in to the streets or go to the beach. In fact they are not allowed to go anywhere outside the resort.

All tourists should respect any restrictions related to the Bali Nyepi day. Otherwise they might face high penalties and even arrest by the traditional security, known as the Pecalang that patrols the streets. It is advised to make your Bali holiday plans and think them through beforehand as many Balinese might travel home the day before and after Nyepi making the traffic situation rather challenging. Even more importantly, the day before Nyepi, known as Pengerupukan Day, features traditional Ogoh-Ogoh parades taking place all over the island. And that is something one definitely should not miss.

Ogoh-Ogoh is the manifestation of a person, an object or anything that disturbs human lives. Balinese people commence preparation for this parade weeks and weeks ahead. Youth communities in each village build magnificent and expressive statues that are usually several meters high. They parade them through their village, or town, and then ceremoniously burn them (although nowadays, more often instead of burning, these statues are merely dismantled in the weeks following Nyepi. After the parade, a cheerful party follows until early morning hours.

This year the Nyepi day in Bali falls on March 28. It is observed from 6.00 AM (March 28) to 6.00 AM (March 29).

OK Divers Resort & Spa in Padangbai is still open for room reservations. We invite you to experience the Ogoh-Ogoh parade with the local people in Padangbai; then spend a quiet day relaxing at our cozy resort and in our Green Spa & Massage.

We wish you “Selamat Hari Raya Nyepi” and look forward to your visit.

STAYING GUESTS! For more detailed information about how our resort will operate on March 28, please visit Bali Nyepi day at OK Divers in Padangbai.

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