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Balinese New Year or Nyepi Day 2013

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ogoh-ogohNyepi day or silent day is a very special day in Bali. Nyepi day is the Balinese New Year and the date is determined using the Lunar Caka calendar within 420 days. The night of the first new moon between March and April will be the eve of Nyepi exactly on 12th March 2013. Legend has it that on this day, Yama, the lord of evil, opens his gates and all evil deities descend upon the island. A lot of ceremonies start on this day. Some people told me it is to scare away the bad spirits.

Whatever you have been told, the eve of Nyepi will be a spectacular procedure of carrying some great paper Mache and bamboo monsters (the bad spirits will take possession of the monsters for one evening). Later there will be fireworks and all the streets will be closed for these monster parades, the Balinese call them Ogoh Ogoh, they take over the island for one night. In the end of the performance we will fire them (Ogoh-ogoh) in the cemetery.

If you are here on holiday you will have to be careful and please try to respect the Balinese customs on these special two days.

leak ogoh

The eve of Nyepi day starts almost everywhere in Bali around lunch time. A lot of streets, even main streets like the bypass will be closed later in the afternoon. So if you would like to see some parades be aware that you might not be able to make your way back in a taxi or on a motor bike, as the parades move on, the traffic will be shut down in all areas. The Balinese will be carrying the monsters through the streets and turn them around (so the monster looses orientation and cannot find the way home) and then they will burn them.

The next day from 6am for 24h until 6am the next day that is Nyepi day - Nobody is allowed in the streets so make sure you find your way home by then. No electricity or electronics are allowed to use all day, even the airport is closed; only emergency transports are allowed in the streets. It is the believe that because the island is silent and dark, including the houses, that the bad spirits will leave the island and the new year starts in peace. To make sure that none of the bad spirits is hiding in any of the houses, the Balinese will walk through their houses the night before silent day and bang some pans to chase them out.

How to prepare yourself for Nyepi (Silent day)
Make sure you have enough food available for at least one day, stock up fruit and snacks (as you should not cook on Nyepi). Reading a book or talk to some friends who will stay with you could be something to plan on a day like this, however be aware that there are no lights, music or parties allowed on this day.


Last changed: Tue Mar 03, 2015 at 8:08 pm

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