Nyepi - Day of Silence

17 March 2018

New Years Day - 1940 in the Saka (Balinese Calendar)

Nyepi Day

What happens on Nyepi? - it's the start of our New Year and the new year starts with no cars, no motorbikes, the airport is closed, no fire shall be lit, including electricity, no radio or TV station can broadcast for 24 hours, no working; no entertainment or pleasure; no traveling; and, for some Balinese, no talking or eating at all. It’s a time for reflection; many reflect on the past year and meditate and clear the mind for the next year. We have to be very very quiet ssshhh. 

March 17 celebrates the start of the New Year in the Saka Calendar; it will be then be 1940 in the Bali Calendar, it feels like 1940 in Kedisan village where we do our tours, unlike the rest of Bali, where you know you are at least in the Millennium, well most of the time.

SSHHHHH

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Nyepi Eve

The night before however, is extremely loud, where OGOH OGOH's are paraded through streets of most tourist areas (not our village, Kedisan), then burnt (if a village still allows this), or at least destroyed.  Some villages have competitions with surrounding villages and they involve some amazing displays of choreographed dance and movement.

So, if you are in Bali at this time, we recommend 3 things you must do:

1. Ask the hotel staff where will the Ogoh Ogoh parade be near you. Go, you can even walk in the parade (make sure you wear a sarong, a shirt and a sash, and please no bikinis this day). The energy walking in these parades is euphoric.

2. Go outside on Nyepi  Eve, not out of your hotel grounds, but just on the balcony or out the front into the grounds, and look up. You will never see the stars like this again until next Nyepi.

3. Get out of your hotel the next day and just look at the horizon, you will see further than you have before, you will see the volcanoes, you may see as far as Lombok, the air is soooo clean, just take a deep breath, we just saved up to 30,000 tons of carbon emissions the day before.

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Hotel Food/Logistics

Many hotels will put on Breakfast, lunch and dinner for you, however smaller hotels and villas may not.  So, you need to stock up the day before (in the morning before). 

If you are in a villa you can go out to the pool area and swim but do not have any candlelight’s out there after dark.  You need to close all your curtains in your villa once it gets dark, if no curtains you need to not use the lights or block out the windows.

If in hotel they will ask you to close blind or curtains and use minimal lighting and keep noise levels down.

If your hotel room does not have a TV, look at hiring one with a DVD player or a TV with a usb point and stock up on movies for the night/next day.  Get a good book and make use of the quiet time.

And don't forget at night to go out and look up at the stars!!

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Travel Logistics

FLIGHT LOGISTICS

If you have a flight booked to come in on 17 March, contact your airline and have it moved to the day before or the day after, if it is an afternoon/evening flight then consider road closures begin at 4pm on 16 March 2018 and do no generally reopen until after midnight.  Then it will be difficult to get a driver to come anytime after that so plan to pay double for an airport taxi.

If you have a flight booked for the morning of 18 March, note that you cannot be on the roads until 6.01am, so if you are needing to be there for a 7am flight on that date, that will not work either.

TRAFFIC LOGISTICS
Most roads in tourist areas will be closed from 4pm so prepare beforehand to get back to your hotel before this time (if you have a tour or a driver booked for the day, or planned to go to a restaurant by taxi etc, you may need to be dropped out on a main road and walk back to your hotel).


BOAT LOGISTICS
No boats will be running to Lombok/Gillis either for the 24 hour period.

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Please note that there is no sneaking out, down the beach or just up the road to take a photo of the deserted streets. Pecalang, our local traditional guards will patrol the streets and fines will be given if you are caught or seen.  Some areas also fine the hotel that let you out on the street.

This is an important spiritual day to the Balinese so please respect their beliefs or plan your trip to come another time, or pop over to Lombok or the Gilis for a few days, as this is only held in Bali

Upcoming Nypei Dates

  • March 7,  2019
  • March 24, 2020
  • March 14, 2021.
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