Thursday

Day of Silence 2006

Nyepi, the Balinese 'Day of Silence' will this year be on March 30th. Nyepi is the day when the whole island is ritually cleansed and no one is allowed out on the street, including tourists. No lights are allowed except in Hotels and such.

The night before Nyepi, tall monsters (ogah-ogah) are carried around town on bamboo platforms. This is to scare away evil spirits. After midnight everyone must return home in case the evil spirits return. For the next 24 hours everyone in Bali pretends that no one is at home, lights are off, TV's tuned off, no shouting or going outside. The evil spirits will depart and leave Bali along for another year, if they are satisfied.

For tourists this means there are no flights in or out of the island for 24 hours, no going to the beach and no partying (unless you are staying in a resort with an underground disco:). For people in a guest house you will either have to get comfortable and wait it out, or take a trip to Lombok.

Nyepi is determined using the Balinese calendar, the eve of Nyepi falling on the night of the new moon whenever it occurs around March/April each year. Therefore, the date for Nyepi changes every year, and there is not a constant number of days difference between each Nyepi as there is for such days as Galungan and Kuningan. To find out when Nyepi falls in a given year, you will need information on the cycles of the moon for that year.

The 'true Bali', unique, that in the 21st Century a culture still values its ceremonies over economical needs.

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