Balinese Hindus to celebrate Nyepi Day
DENPASAR (indo.com): Travelers to Bali will have a great
opportunity to sense a unique and magical atmosphere when
Balinese Hindus celebrate New Year Eve, known locally
as Nyepi. The Nyepi Holiday (1926) Icaka New Year will
fall on Sunday, March 21, 2004.
The Nyepi Day is the day of absolute silence throughout
the island when no activity is done, no traffic is seen
anywhere, no fire is lit and no amusement held along the
day. For the Balinese Hindus, the Nyepi Day is the day
of self - introspection for Hindu followers when the entire
island turns to be just like being deserted. The observance
will start before sunset on March 20, 2004 and will last
until sunrise on March 22, 2004.
When the event takes place, Bali will be the only place
where people are ignoring any activities the whole day.
All of the flights at the International Ngurah Rai Airport,
harbor and other kinds of transportation are closed all
day long. Lights in public areas, corridors and balconies
will be switched off. All recreational spots will be temporarily
closed. Therefore, it would be advisable for domestic
and foreign visitors to stay at their own hotels.
The daily grind in all over the Island is stopped for
all day long. No body is allowed to go out of their house,
except for men in black 'Pecalang', traditional security
units in charge of keeping Bali in order during the silent
All business enterprises, academic matters, government
offices and other public services will be temporarily
closed, except for some hotels that are only allowed to
hold such inbound activities, within the minimized lights
and noises, and the guests will be asked to stay inside
the hotel. Activities in emergency rooms and maternity
section of hospitals will be allowed. Any emergencies
will be taken into consideration and tolerated.
Nyepi is derived from the word 'sepi' that means silent.
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.
All Hindu followers will be obliged to do the Catur Brata
Penyepian (four ways of realization the Nyepi Day). There
should not be fire (amati geni) nor works or activities
to do (amati karya). They won't be allowed to have fun
(amati lelanguan) nor to travel (amati lelungan). These
prohibitions are aimed 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 silent. It is totally silence. The anti-climax
of the meditation will be held the following day. It is
called Ngembak Geni, where the people are happy and blessed
for their success of controlling themselves. It is also
the day of get-togetherness and family gathering.
Calendar system for Balinese Hindus
The Balinese Hindus use 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 Saka year, which came from India,
use a numbering system of 78 years behind the Gregorian