Nyepi or Silence Day is probably one of the most amazing thing that could happen in Bali despite it’s popularity as a tourist destination. The whole island shuts down …. literally SHUTS DOWN …. even the airport. There are a few things in Bali that is aimed for tourism like the kecak dances, performances etc but Nyepi is something that has been around for a long time … perhaps thousands of year tradition and has nothing to do with tourism.
Nyepi is the day that marks the changing Saka year…basically it’s the Balinese new year and it always happen on a dark moon/new moon.
I think of this while I am looking at the sunset in Canggu Beach as Batara Surya would display another amazing light show to scorch the sky.
Okay so tonight there is a unique ritual the Balinese do every year. They would build demon from paper mache and parade them around the city. Nyepi eve involves a lot of noise making of this parade, it’s like to entice the demon to come…it’s a mass exorcism ceremony.
Every year Nyepi day starts from 6 AM to the next 6 AM . No vehicles allowed, no loud noises, no going out of the house and no electricity. I spent the afternoon till sunset on top of my roof to admire sky and to listen to nothing but wind, trees, birds and insects.
The aim of Nyepi is to do a form of self introspection or meditation called Catur Brata :
1. Amati gni (no light)
2. Amati karya (no work)
3. Amati lelanguan (no entertainment)
4. Amati lelungan (no trip)
All of this to contemplate our selves, basically stop/hold the activity from the world around us to work the universe within us. To cleanse ourselves body and soul, to contemplate what we aim to achieve for the new year and so forth.
My favorite thing about Nyepi is there’s no light pollution at night so the stars shines literally like diamonds in the night sky. I saw the Milky Way Galaxy and that’s so amazing ! I lie on my rooftop thinking with my house mate … if only we humans are able to experience and see this grandeur given by the night sky at least 20 minutes every month … we would realize how insignificant we are compared to the universe and how severely arrogant we are as a living being in this world.