21. March 2015: New Year in Bali.
Today in Bali is NYEPI. The day of silence.
Everything is closed. Nobody – even the tourists – are not allowed to go out on the streets, travel, work or hear loud music and turn the lights on.
The Balinese celebrate there new year (Isakawarsa) every year in March. This holiday is a special Balinese celebration, decided by the Hindu Balinese “saka calendar“.
In their calendar the amount of one year is not the same than in our western calender. That’s why the they celebrate their new year always on a different day.
2014: 31. March
2015: 21. March
2016: 9. March
2017: 28. March
Nyepi (day of Silence):
On this day, it’s not allowed to go out of the house, use electronics, work or be even loud.
It’s a day to focus on self-reflection, to go inward, meet your self, do Yoga and to meditate.
These rules are based on Catur Brata, which includes:
- Amati Geni: Forbidden to make fires, or to use of light for satisfying pleasurable human appetites.
- Amati Karya: Forbidden are all forms of physical work other than those dedicated to spiritual cleansing and renewal.
- Amati Lelungan: Forbidden are all movements or travel outside the house; requiring people to stay within their homes.
- Amati Lelangunan: Forbidden are all forms of entertainment, recreations or general merrymaking.
Recommendation for tourists!!!:
You need to stay at your home, hotel or apartment, if you are in Bali at this date. The culture police is checking the streets. If you are on the street between 6AM (Nyepi) – 6AM following day and the police will see you and that you are not respecting their culture holiday, they can even send you out of the country!
Tawur Kesanga (the day before Nyepi):
As in all other countries, which celebrate the new Years Eve, also the Balinese people celebrate the day before.
They used to have a parade starting from 7PM the day before Nyepi at each big village cross roads. Its called the Bhuta Yajna Ritual, where all schools or institutions build their own „Ogoh-ogoh (these are monsters or evil spirits, “the Butha Kala“) made out of paper, wood or even with lights and fireworks. The monsters symbolizes the bad evils, which they want to banish from their houses, environments and lives with this ceremony.
Walking from one cross road to another they are normally joined by a small orchestra or band, which play very typical Balinese tribal music according to the monsters dance fight between the good and evil.
It’s really worth to experience this parade and Nyepi day once a life.