Monday, March 12, 2012

A day of silence in Bali - Nyepi falls on Friday March 23rd

If you are planning on being in Bali on March 23rd, don' be surprised to find it a ghost island. For a total of 24 hours you won't see any locals on the streets, you won't leave the confines of your hotel or villa (nope, no shopping for you!). You won't hear any noise, and you certainly won't be landing or flying out of the airport that day! Friday March 23rd this year is Nyepi day  – the day for meditation and absolute silence in Bali - and the one day of the year when the entire island of Bali is closed for 24 hours to all traffic, including air traffic. On this day, no one is allowed on the streets and on the beach, including tourists.

In keeping with the strict traditions of the holy day, Bali grinds to an absolute halt from 6:00 a.m. on the Friday until Saturday, March 24, 2012.

On the eve of Nyepi, celebrations are held when floats of huge colourful paper demons are paraded through the streets of cities, carried to the beach and torched, making a bright bonfire. Each one then quietly retreats to their respective homes to spend the entire day in silent reflection, free from any noise. Homes may also not have any open fires, nor any lights lit at night.
While this may sound eerie, in fact, those that have gone through this absolute quietness of a whole island find it a most exhilarating experience.
Craig Gibbons Marketing Manager for the Visit Indonesia Tourism Office in Australia says 'Nyepi is a truly wonderful and peaceful time to visit Bali but we do ask that all Australian tourists respect this very sacred day in the Balinese Hindu calendar by remaining within their hotel grounds for the respective period'.

So, if you're on the island, please pay respect for the 24 hours of Nyepi, be observant of tradition, and enjoy the rare opportunity to soak up absolute, complete silence and retreat. You may just find yourself tuning in to a level of relaxation not experienced before. 

No comments:

Post a Comment