Silent Day (Nyepi) on March 7, 2019: Balinese New Year
Nyepi or Silent Day is a very unique holiday that you will only find on Bali and its neighbouring islands Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida. Its purpose is to celebrate the Balinese New Year. Since Balinese people follow a different calendar system, it does not always happen on the same date as we know it. This year Nyepi (Silence Day) takes place on March 7, 2019. Make sure to visit a stunning Ogoh Ogoh Parade in Bali a day before Nyepi (Silence Day).
Did you know that even the airport on Bali shuts its doors?
Yes, that’s right! Different from how most people know their New Year’s celebrations, the Balinese spend it in peace and quiet. It is a day to cleanse their body, mind, and soul with meditation and fasting on Nyepi (Silence Day). This means that none is allowed to leave their house, make noise, use electricity or fire. Basically, everyone on the island is supposed to do nothing.
Can I leave my accommodation during Nyepi?
No, the same rules apply to everybody! Although you don’t have to live the day as the Balinese do, you are not allowed to leave the grounds of your accommodation. You may leave your room, get some sunbeams on your face, get some food or relax by the pool, but you are not allowed to step outside of the gates of your Guesthouse. Also at night, you have to close the curtains in front of your windows or even cover it up to make sure no light gets outside. You are not to be seen or heard!
Punishment: Temple Cleaning
“I am not Hindu, so I will not follow these rules!”
Well, if the local Balinese police patrol, also called Pecalang, catches you on the street during Nyepi (Silence Day) 2019, sees lights coming from your window (as in using electricity) or hears you being noisy, they might punish you with a chore such as having to clean a temple. Better show some respect for the culture and experience the magic that is Nyepi (Silence Day) 2019!
Tip: How to prepare for Nyepi (Silence Day) 2019 as a Tourist?
Find yourself a nice accommodation, with a swimming pool, to enjoy the tropical climate even on Silent Day. Stack yourself with magazines, a good book, DVD’s and card games! Also get lots of snacks and drinks to make it through the day (or two – many places remain closed the next day!) Also make sure that you reach your accommodation around noon, as a lot of streets will be closed and blocked for the Ogoh-Ogoh Parade, a ceremony and festival, that takes place before Nyepi (Silent Day) 2019.
Need a place to stay during Nyepi (Silence Day) 2019?
Take a rest on Nyepi (Silence Day) 2019. Simply relax by the pool, get yourself some yummy food stocks, read a good book and simply do nothing. We made a great selection for you. Stay above the cliffs with stunning views & simply allow yourself some luxury and stay at a place with a stunning swimming pool!
Our favourite places to stay during Nyepi (Silence Day) 2019
Ari Homestay at Thomas Beach in Uluwatu
Made Suardani at Impossible Beach in Padang Padang
Green Paradise Bungalow in Canggu
A Million Stars in the sky of Nyepi (Silent Day) 2019
Despite, having a relaxed day and just enjoying doing nothing, you will see the most amazing night sky during Nyepi Day. Since every place is supposed to shut down the lights, you will be able to see a million stars! This is not a 5* but a million star experience! Get ready for some stunning nights under the stars all year round!
Ogoh-Ogoh Parade: A cultural highlight you don’t want to miss
The evening before Nyepi each village will have a huge parade presenting large artfully crafted monsters, made from bamboo and recycled paper, called Ogoh-Ogoh. They will be carried through the streets, accompanied by traditional music and mostly even a performance act. It is really impressive watching this cultural Highlight – Check out where to watch Ogoh Ogoh Parade 2019!
You might wonder why they have this tradition: Well, the story behind it is that just before the parades start, every household will make a lot of noise. Banging pots and pans, even! This is to chase the bad spirits away. It is believed that they then go into the Ogoh-Ogoh’s. With the bad spirits inside, the Ogoh-Ogoh’s will be burned after the parade. As you already learned, the following day is Nyepi, and the reason why you are to be quiet is to not lure any left bad spirits back into your house. Have you ever heard of a ceremony where people stab themselves without drawing a single drop of blood?
Black Magic on Nyepi
Did you know that Indonesia has a strong belief in supernatural occurrences and the practice of white and black magic? Rumour has it that especially during Silent day those who possess and practice these powers will measure their strengths. People have claimed to have seen fireballs, fighting against each other in the night sky. Learn more about Black Magic, Rituals & Ghosts in Bali!