Nyepi 2014

Nyepi 2014

Nyepi 2014 celebration.  The Day of Silence, also known as Nyepi, is the start of Caka – the Bali year. This is a religious ceremony that is bigger and more lavish than any others. There is a deep mythology that is completely different to any others in the Indian sub-continent. The origins date all the way back to the mythical times of the evil spirits, Gods, superheroes and witches.

One of the Evil on NyepiThe HeroOfferings to Lord Baruna
One of the Evil on NyepiThe HeroOfferings to Lord Baruna

There will be some ceremonial for celebrating Nyepi Day (the Start of CAKA – Balinese New Year), such as Melasti, Ogoh Ogoh, etc.

Melasti: Throwing Impurity and Taking Holy Water of Life

This is the start of the celebrations and is celebrated by each of the villages and towns. Symbolically, it is the spring cleaning for the homes to rid them of spirits and prepare for the next day. Effigies of each of the Gods are hauled into the seas and rivers for a ritual bathing and as offerings. Prayers are also said. For those just visiting, this is just the start of the celebrations!

Melasti ParadeMelasti OfferingsLord on Melasti
Melasti ParadeMelasti OfferingLord on Melasti

Ogoh-Ogoh

Ogoh ogoh is the time for the first sighting of the fearsome Ogoh-Ogoh – huge papier-mache effigies of evil monsters.
Ogoh Ogoh are carried through towns and villages in a traditional procession to the cacophony of deafening claxons, gamelan music, drummers music. The basic idea is to make as much noise as is humanly possible for scaring off all evil spirits.

In the evening (dark) these effigies are ceremoniously burnt, followed by much communal debauchery into the night. Dancing, drinking and feasting takes place in a rather chaotic fashion, all with the aim of driving these evil spirits far, far away.

One of the Ogoh Ogoh AppearanceOne of the Ogoh Ogoh Shape

The Day of Silence Nyepi 2014 in Bali

It then moves onto Nyepi, which is completely different! After a full day and night of celebrations and people everywhere, the whole town will be deserted. The story involves fooling the evil spirits to make them think that the town is empty and it definitely makes it look like that. Three million people all disappear and make the town look like it is the shell of what it used to be. You won’t see a person or hear anyone around.

This isn’t the day to visit or leave Bali. Nor is it a day to take a walk around. The airports are closed and there is no travelling allowed on the day by any type of motorised vehicle or by foot! Household electricity is to be turned off and there is to be no noise. The only people who get away with it are the emergency services.

The only people on the streets are the Pecalang (the Nyepi police) to make sure there is nobody else out, even tourists! The police will firmly and politely escort people back to their own homes or hotels and you will have no access to water or food for the whole day. If you will be in Bali on that day, make sure you are prepared with water and munchies to survive the day. Some of the larger hotels will have some electricity and food but you will feel like a prisoner for the day.

Amati Lelungan - No TravellingPecalang - Nyepi PoliceAmati Geni - Turn off the Light
Amati Lelungan - No Travelling At AllPecalang - Nyepi PoliceAmati Geni - No fire / light, nor electricity on Nyepi Day

Experiencing Nyepi 2014 in Bali

For most tourists and expats, Nyepi can be an inconvenience but it can also be an amazing experience to see. It’s a great time to sleep, read a book or do something that doesn’t involve travelling that you’ve been putting off. It could also be a day to spend with your family. For those travelling alone, this is often a lonely day. You may find that you are best spending a couple of days in the Gili Islands while the commemorations come to an end but these islands do get crowded! Make sure you book in advanced!

if you stay in Bali on the Day of Silence, just go Along with the day and enjoy the relaxing time. This could be a great time for those staying in the busiest places, like Kuta, so you can get your bearings and enjoy the quiet for the day. Nyepi is definitely something different and original and you will never experience it anywhere else in the world!

When Will Nyepi 2014?

Nyepi is one of the Indonesian Public Holiday 2014, the observance date will fall on Monday, 31 March 2014

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Happy Hari Raya Nyepi 2014 in Bali