NYEPI DAY 2006 (Icaka New Year 1928 of Hindus)
Nyepi Day (Silent Day) falls on 30 March 2006 - Bali's
day of silence
The Balinese Hindus use two kinds of calendar systems,
the Saka calendar system and the 210-day Pawukon system.
The Saka calendar is a lunar system and each of the
12 lunar months ends on a new month. The calendar
begins the day after the new moon that ends the ninth
lunar month. This always coincides with the Gregorian
March. The Balinese Hindus 'celebrate' the coming
of the new year of saka calendar in silence, which
is called Nyepi Day. The Saka year numbering system
is 78 years behind the Gregorian year. The Saka calendar
came from India.
Nyepi Day is the culmination of several
days that follow this event. This year, Nyepi Day
occurs on 30 March 2006. On 27 March 2006, the Balinese
Hindus gathered all sacred apparatus that symbolize
the supremacy of God in the world in the temple village.
The following day, either on 28 or 29 March 2006,
is the melasti day. All effigies of the gods from
all the village temples have been taken to the river
in long and colorful ceremonies. There they have been
bathed by the god Baruna before being taken back to
residence in their shrines of origin. The ceremony
is a general purification of the village and its deities.
Everyone also purifies himself. On the day after melasti,
Pengerupukan, offering is given. It is meant to shed
the black world and any disturbing factors away. All
villages also hold a large exorcist ceremony at the
main village crossroad, the meeting place of the demons.
All the demons of Bali world were let loose on the
road in a carnival of fantastic monsters, the Ogoh-ogoh.
The Ogoh-ogoh is the manifestation
of anything that disturbs human live. It could be
a person, an object or anything.
As a religious event of Balinese
Hindus, Nyepi is a symbolical replay of these philosophical
principles. The world is 'clean' in the beginning
of the year. The Balinese Hindus do not celebrate
the new year with lavish party, instead they celebrate
the coming of the new year with meditation. No activities
are allowed to take place. These mandatory religious
prohibitions include no pleasure (amati lelangon),
no traffic (amati lelungan), no fire (amati geni)
and no work (amati karya). These prohibitions aim
at controlling oneself and submission to God. Everybody
has to stay in the individual houses. No lights in
the house, no sounds of radio and no works, just keep
silence. It is totally silence.
The anti-climax of the meditation
is on the following day, which is called Ngembak Geni,
where the people are happy and bless their success
of controlling themselves. It is also the day of get-togetherness
and family gathering. Should you be in Bali or first
arrive in Bali on the occasion of Nyepi Day, on the
Gregorian calendar, this year it occurs on 30 March
You must take the following
instructions into account :
1. The silence begins at 5 a.m. of 30 March 2006 and
the next 24 hours
2. The airport will be totally closed on 30 March
2006, so there will be neither arrival nor departure
in the airport on that day. All connecting airports
around the globe have been informed about it in advance.
If you take surface trip, you should not plan your
arrival in Bali on 30 March 2006, there is no activity
in the bus terminal and most importantly there will
be no traffic on that day in the whole Bali island.
3. You should stay inside your house. Do not go out
of the house. Should you need food or anything to
buy, do it on the previous day because on Nyepi Day
all shops do not open.
4. Since all activities throughout the island are
held, put your plan before or ahead of Nyepi Day.
5. Should you want to make a light or play the music,
keep it minimum, no light and sounds are allowed.
6. Don't make any noise while you are at home.
7. Across Bali, the activities are allowed only in
emergency rooms and maternity section of hospitals
and the arrival section of airport. Any emergencies
are taken into consideration and tolerated. Hotel
is in the service but no outdoor activities are allowed
and the guests are asked to stay inside the hotel.
The whole island is in silence.