The Silent Day / Nyepi Day 2020 and 2021

One of the most unique national holidays in Indonesia is the Hindu New Year. The Hindu New Year is also known as Nyepi Day. Nyepi Day is a day filled with silence, and self-reflection. Celebrated on the first day calculated based on the Saka Calendar. Nyepi Day celebrations in Bali can last for several days.

Nyepi Day

  • Wednesday, March 25th 2020
  • Sunday, March 14th 2021

Three days before Nyepi

There are several rituals performed by Hindus in Bali to celebrate the arrival of the Hindu New Year. Three days before Nyepi, the Melasti Rite is performed. This ritual is usually performed at a water source close to the temple, a Hindu place of worship. The source of water used from sea water is believed to be able to purify all objects or other universal impurities.

Hindu New Year's Eve

On the eve of the celebration of the Hindu new year in Bali, the Bhuta Yudna ritual is performed by every Hindu community. This ritual is done to erase and repel the negative effects of the devil from Bali and its inhabitants. According to Hindu religious belief, the responsibility to maintain balance or harmony between God, the earth and humans rests with humans.

In carrying out this ritual, Balinese Hindus make a large statue derived from bamboo and paper. This statue is a representation of Satan and all evil creatures. These statues are known as "Ogoh-Ogoh". Many of these Ogoh-Ogoh statues are found in the form of parades and are made by young people from villages in Bali. Meanwhile, the best Ogoh-Ogoh are usually made by Balinese artists.

After the Ogoh-Ogoh were made, they were taken to a parade that was held in a big way so that it could be seen by many people. The Balinese Hindu community believes that the Ogoh-Ogoh will absorb all the negative energy from the guardians of the demon spirit and its overseers. After the parade is finished, Ogoh-Ogoh then burned on a campfire in an open area. In addition to the ritual of exorcism and purification of Balinese people from demonic interference, the bonfire is also believed to be a way to please Batara Kala, the guardian god of hell.

Rituals are held on Hindu Nyepi New Year's Day

At the Hindu New Year celebrations, Hindus perform various rituals. The first aspect of the Nyepi Day ritual is "Amati Geni." "Amati Geni" is a ritual that prohibits the use of fire or light in the Bali region during the Nyepi Day. "Observe Geni" also prohibits the use of electricity.

The second aspect of the Nyepi ritual is "Amati Karya." According to the ritual "Amati Karya" no one in Bali is allowed to work during Nyepi Day. The third aspect of the ritual is "Observe Lelunganan", which states that no one is allowed to travel during Nyepi Day. The last aspect of the Nyepi ritual is "Observe the Auction". This ritual states that everyone in Bali must fast during the Nyepi Day. "Observe Lelanguan" also requires people in Bali to refrain from entertainment activities.

During this Silence Day, the Balinese Hindu community is expected to reflect on the behavior they have taken over the past few years. Some Balinese take advantage of this opportunity to rest and think about ways to improve the quality of their lives in the coming year. To ensure that all aspects of the ritual are carried out, several members of the Bali Police patrol the entire island of Bali. Everyone in Bali must obey all the Nyepi rituals. That is why, Balipun airport is closed all day from tourist visits. The visitors must remain in their homes or lodging, or they can leave Bali.

This Silence Day is a tradition that began in the past where Balinese believe that staying silent for a full day during the celebration will trick the evil spirits, because the evil spirits will think that the island of Bali is uninhabited. Based on this belief, evil spirits will leave the island on their own because they cannot carry out their ultimate goal of torturing humans.