Nyepi is a Day of Silence that is commemorated every Isakawarsa or Saka new year according to Balinese calendar. The next Nyepi Day or quite day will be held on 17 March 2018, celebrated new years of Caka 1940. No cars, no flight, no tours, no fire and no artivities. Inspirated by Hindu philosophy, Ogoh-ogoh created endeavours based on Balinese Hinduism normally have form of mythological beings, mostly demons like Rangda, Leak and other.
The most interesting celebration of Nyepi Day is one day before the Nyepi Day. Balinese people usually celebrated by Ogoh-Ogoh (Balinese Spirit Sculpture) parade. The size of Ogoh-ogoh are varies, ranging from 5 - 15 meters high. The Ogoh-ogoh are paraded by 20 - 30 persons. Many tourists like to watch this parade as its only comes once a year.
Nyepi Day is calculated based on Saka Calender (Balinese calender). One year of Saka calender has 12 months (sasih). Each sasih consists of 35 days which is usually has one full moon (Purnama) and one dark moon (Tilem). There are 15 days from Purnama to reach Tilem. The 9th of dark moon (Tilem) is called Tilem Kesanga (9th). One day after the Tilem Kesanga is the first day of Balinese calender (Caka New Year). On this day is celebrated as the Nyepi Day.
Nyepi Day is not set by Balinese or government but based on logic calculation of Caka Calender. The next years Nyepi Day can be also calculated using this pattern. As the Gregorian calender has 365 days a year thats why Nyepi Day is not at the same day or date every year but usually on March or April.
If you wanted to stay in Bali during the Nyepi Day, don't worry. Many Hotels are still operating during the Nyepi Day, but not breaking the rules of course. Besides the Parade, many tourist stay during the Nyepi Day because they come for the quiteness and peaceful of Bali. Because Bali is totally dark during the night of Nyepi Day, it's a perfect time to spot the stars.
The ritual in Bali on Nyepi day as below:
- The Melasti Ritual performed in Pura / Balinese temple near the sea (Pura Segara) and meant to purify Arca, Pratima, and Pralingga (sacred objects) belongs to several temples, also to acquire sacred water from the sea. This ritual performed at the 3-4 previous day dedicated to Sanghyang Widhi Wasa and is performed at the beach to respect them as the owner of The Land and Sea.
- The Bhuta Yajna Ritual is performed in order to vanquish the negative elements and create balance with God, Mankind, and Nature. The ritual also meant to appease Batara Kala by Pecaruan offering. 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.
The Nyepi Rituals is performed with the following conditions:
- Amati Geni: No fire/light, including no electricity
- Amati Karya: No working
- Amati Lelunganan: No travelling
- Amati Lelanguan: no revelry/self-entertainment
- The Yoga/Brata Ritual starts at 6:00 AM (e.g. March 26, 2009) and continues to 6:00 AM the next day.
- The Ngebak Agni/Labuh Brata Ritual is performed for all Hindus to forgive each other and to welcome the new days to come.
- The Dharma Shanti Rituals is performed as the Nyepi Day or "Day of Silence."