Nyepi is the “Bali’s Day of Silence” in the Balinese “Saka” calendar commemorating the start of the Hindu New Year. It falls at the time of the new moon in the months of March or April each year; and this year 2015 is the 21th of March.
Nyepi is a day of complete silence: Balinese refrain from all worldly and physical activities. The streets are deserted, the airport and ports are closed and everybody must remain at home. This is a day of pure meditation.
The rituals start two days before Nyepi, starting with “Melasti” – the Purification Ceremony. People carry all the effigies of the Gods from their village to the beach for spiritual purification, in long and colorful ceremonies. Offerings and holy objects line the path of the colorful procession. This is very beautiful to see.
The day before Nyepi is called “Pengerupukan” or “Tawur Kesanga” on which evil spirit are driven away. All villages in Bali hold a large exorcism ceremony at the main village cross road, the meeting place of demons. The villagers make “Ogoh Ogoh”(demonic statues) symbolizing the evil spirits surrounding our environment which have to be got rid of from our lives. Those statues are carried through the streets in torch-lit parades with villagers performing dances and singing.
This is a unique celebration in the world and the ceremony is very impressive: the music very lively, the dancing very beautiful, and the Ogoh-ogoh statues soooo scary.
Here are a few more pictures:
Time is now for meditation. Happy New year to all of you ! Salamat hari raya Nyepi !!!