Nyepi is New Year’s Day in the Balinese Saka calendar, which is considered by many Bali residents to surpass all other days of the year, unique in the world. As far as Bali is concerned, the island is closed for business. All services, shops, restaurants, and bars, including the airport, and beaches too, are closed for 24 hours, and the populace is restricted to their premises. If you are staying at our Seminyak villas or a hotel, not a soul is authorized off the property, and, it is expected that everyone is respectfully quiet during the day and the night. The Banjar police, the Pecalang, patrol the streets ensuring conformity.
Three days before Nyepi, Melasti ceremonies are held across Bali, where hundreds, sometimes thousands of Balinese Hindus carry temple artifacts in procession to the beach for ritual purification, accompanied by priests, Gamelan orchestras, and ceremonial paraphernalia. People are dressed in traditional white, while yellow and gold feature too, with many men carrying flags and beautiful traditional multicolored ceremonial umbrellas, while the women often wear fruit headdresses as religious offerings.
On the eve of March 21st, streets become quite rowdy, as huge mystical figurines (Ogah-Ogah) a mixture of male and female aesthetic merge with the crazy demonic monster, are paraded along the streets often competing for best in show, with teams shouting ogah ogah and generating as much noise as possible. It is truly spectacular, with the richer neighborhoods able to create the most dramatic effigies. Nyepi 2022 was a subdued affair due to Covid, so tourists can expect this year to be considerably more impressive, especially since there are so many bad spirits from this past year to be cleansed.
The Balinese believe that evil spirits are tempted down to earth, to join these Nyepi eve festivities, with all their lively boisterous excitement pervading every town and village. But then suddenly at 6 am, total silence descends on the whole island, not even a whisper, so the spirits finding zero entertainment, disappear, leaving Bali in search of better action elsewhere.
Traditionally, in each household, there will be no fire, light, electricity, traveling, no work, or revelry, and no self-entertainment, which is pretty strict for foreign tourists, so guests are expected to take a break from any loud mischief heard outside the villa, and lights inside are dimmed, to reduce any attention.
From 6 am on March 22nd through till 6 am on March 23rd, people stay at home quietly, with no sound emanating from residences. This is a day to appreciate your surroundings, a chance to meditate, recharge, reflect, heal, renew, and discharge negativity, starting afresh, pure in spirit. There is only the sound of nature.
Past miscreants are welcomed on their knees in all-day prayer at local temples. Definitely not worth testing any limits, especially hungover!
Staying at one of our villas at the Kinaree Estate, you wake to utter tranquility. There is no man-made noise, it’s akin to meditating with your eyes open. You hear, but particularly notice, the leaves rustling in the wind, appreciate the birds, and insects, you might hear ants walking, and stones on migration. If a TV is a must, the room doors are shut, and if you want to hear tunes, use headphones.
At night, the general property plus pool lights are extinguished, and some candles will show the way. We suggest lying out on the sun loungers to stare at the sky. As there is no peripheral light from houses, street lamps, or traffic, the darkness is absolute, where stars reveal themselves closer to earth, the milky way in all its glory, just for your visual delight.
We recommend stocking the fridge with all necessary goodies, to ensure all have enough to eat and drink for these 24 hours, but remember, it’s only for 1 day, no need to go overboard, just make sure the important items are purchased.
Our team will make sure that there is ample food, and can prepare enough to sustain a hungry family or two. Of course, if there was any type of accident in the villa, the villa manager and other team members will have their phones turned on should you need help, the team and the local community will provide the necessary assistance.
This Nyepi day Bali 2023, is a unique luxury Bali holiday. Both our 4-bedroom villa Kinaree and 6-bedroom villa Kinara, which combined are the 10-bedroom Kinaree Estate in Seminyak, offer the ultimate luxury Bali family holiday.
IMAGE: Whats New Indonesia