Nyepi is the most important and sacred Hindu holiday on Bali and is a general public holiday in the rest of Indonesia. It begins at 6am on Thursday, March 7 2019 and ends at 6am on Friday, March 8.
As preparation to the build-up to Nyepi Day, are a series of rituals conducted in literally every part of the island.
The start of "Caka" year - Balinese New Year – is celebrated by the Hindus over a course of six days, with the ogoh-ogoh parades after sunset of day two and Nyepi (‘to keep silent’), day of silence, falling on day three.
The evening before Nyepi day Balinese carry large Ogoh Ogoh statues through Bali's streets. Already young kids follow the example of their fathers.
The statues are up to 25feet tall and can be very heavy. With the help of a bamboo grid a large group of men carry the ogoh ogoh followed by Balinese gamelan musicians.
Nyepi is a day that the Hindu Balinese dedicate completely to connect more deeply with God (Hyang Widi Wasa) through prayer, fasting and meditation with an additional layer of introspection of the Self, to evaluate personal values such as love, truth, patience, kindness, and generosity.
The entire Island comes to a standstill, with no scheduled incoming or outgoing flights from the airport. Hotels are asked to cover their windows, all shops are closed. No light or candle will be lit in any Balinese home, no cars on the road, no motorbikes, no people.
Nyepi Day like almost all Balinese religious festivals and holy days is always calculated based on the Balinese calendar (Caka or Saka). One full year of the Balinese calendar consists of 12 sasih (Balinese months). Each month (sasih) consists of 35 days which is usually a complete cicle of one new moon ( dark moon or Tilem) and one full moon (Purnama).
Here is to a deepened connection within communities and nature, Happy Nyepi 2019!