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February 14, 2020

Nyepi in Bali

Every once in a year the island of the Gods celebrating Nyepi or known as the day of silence, where the entire island is totally shut down for 24 hours. Celebrated once every 420 days according to the Balinese calendar, the word Nyepi it self taken from the word Sepi that has meaning quietness and peaceful, as the mark of the beginning of the Caka New Year full of quietness and peaceful feeling. 
An extremely special time to be in Bali during Nyepi for the visitors and especially for the Balinese, as a chance to communicate with the inner self through meditation and fasting. The series of Nyepi ceremony started with Melasti, Pengerupukan, and closed with the Ngembak Geni.
Melasti and Pengerupukan
Three days prior to Nyepi, Balinese will do the Melasti or for local also known as Melis or Mekiyis. During these days, all the Gods and Goddess symbols in the Temple will be purified in the nearest water sources including the beach and the lake which local believes the water sources can purify all the negativity in humans itself (Bhuana Alit) and the universe (Bhuana Agung). 
Continued with Pengerupukan, prior to Nyepi which identically enlivened by the Ogoh-Ogoh or the gigantic monster made from woven bamboo and wooden as the symbol of negativity which local known as Bhuta Khala. The Ogoh Ogoh will be paraded around the village accompanied by traditional Beleganjur, the high-energy gamelan that also can be heard at ceremony processions to expel the negativity from the houses, yard, and the environment.
Image by @luciano
Nyepi Day
Started from early morning, the Nyepi Day is reserved for doing the Catur Bharata that included The Amati Geni or no lights and fire, Amati Karya or not doing any kind of works, Amati Lelungan or no traveling and any outdoor activities, and Amati Lelanguan or no entertaining and any kind of loud sound. Although Nyepi is primarily a Hindu holiday, the non-Hindu residents and visitors are not exempt from the restrictions. Wherever you are in Bali during Nyepi, and whether you use the day for relaxation and indulgence, or introspection and meditation, remember to step outside and take a look at those incredible stars above you. At InterContinental Bali Resort, Nyepi Day actually feels special with the limitless view upon sundown and magical sky with the blinking stars in the night has its own magical spells.
Ngembak Geni
The last series of Caka New Year celebration is called Ngembak Geni, and for Balinese, it’s the time they can light the fire again after 24 hours and get outside doing their normal activities. Get up earlier in the morning and feel the fresh air free from pollution. Most of the locals will do the Dharma Shanti, by visiting friends, neighborhoods, and families, to gather and forgiving each other to starting the new year by living in peace and harmony.