Nyepi 2022 is just around the corner, so here’s everything you need to know about this Hindu celebration, and why it’s our favourite day on the Balinese calendar.
Unless you’re a Bali regular or local resident, chances are, you’ve never heard about Nyepi, AKA Bali’s “Day of Silence”. It’s when, for a full 24 hours, all of the island’s lights must be switched off, transport comes to a halt and everyone must stay at home. Sounds crazy? In our humble opinion, Nyepi is the most magical and unique date on the Balinese calendar, found nowhere else in the world other than on this enchanting little island.
Sure, it can interrupt some of your plans, and you won’t be able to hit the beaches, the boutiques or spas for 24 hours. But before you start looking at ways to escape the island, let us tell you why you’ve hit the holiday jackpot if you happen to be in Bali during this spiritual celebration, as well as tips on what to prepare, where to stay, and even how to spend the day.
When is Nyepi?
This year, Nyepi falls on Thursday March 3rd 2022, beginning at 6am and finishing 24 hours later at 6am on March 4th. The date of Nyepi changes each year according to the Balinese calendar, so you’ll want to check ahead if you’re already planning next year’s Bali escape.
What is Nyepi?
For the Balinese, Nyepi is a Hindu celebration that marks the start of a New Year – a day to cleanse the island from the previous year’s misdoings and bad omens, establishing a pure and positive year ahead. The whole island shuts down for a full 24 hours, and the streets are off limits to everyone. Even the airport closes for a full day, with planes being rerouted above so not to disturb the silence below. Everyone must remain inside their homes, villas or hotels without any disturbances – this means no travelling, transport, work, sound, or even light. In short, it’s pure bliss.
What happens during Nyepi?
On Nyepi Day, the Balinese will be busy meditating, praying and spending silent time at home with their families. But for non-Hindus, the answer is quite simply: nothing (other than plenty of relaxation). However, prior to Bali’s Day of Silence, the streets come alive with the sweet sounds of traditional gamelan and reams of colourful offerings. You’ll also spot villagers excitedly preparing and sculpting enormous papier-mâché monsters (called Ogoh-Ogoh) which, on the night before Nyepi, are paraded through the streets with loud music, bursts of fire and people lining the streets to add to the community spirit. It’s a spectacular contrast to the silent serenity that follows. Note: due to the current Coronavirus situation, the Ogoh-Ogoh parades have been suspended for 2022.
Must everyone celebrate Nyepi, even foreigners?
Yes, everyone must abide by the rules of Nyepi, namely by remaining indoors without any noise or visible light. Don’t fret though, you’re permitted to move around your accommodation as normal, providing that sound and light are kept to an absolute minimum. If you’re staying in a hotel, there’ll often be plenty of activities on offer to keep you occupied, and you won’t be in total darkness either – lights will often be left on but dimmed at nighttime, and you’ll just need to keep your curtains closed.
So what should I do on Nyepi Day?
With nothing else on the itinerary except kicking back and chilling out, there’s no better time to rest, relax and rejuvenate from the comforts of a luxury hotel or resort. Find yourself a good book, meditate, dust off an old board game, treat yourself to an at-home face mask or simply bask in the sunshine with only the sounds of nature all around. To help you plan your Nyepi escape, check out the special Nyepi Stay Packages below to make your Silent Day even more magical.
Selamat Hari Raya Nyepi, everyone!