Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Bali ‘s Day of Silence

Bali is very colourful as it is filled with various cultures and rituals. Nyepi is one of such festivals that has its importance in a very different way. It is the New Year for Balinese, and the Hindu families celebrate it in a massive way. Bali is known as one of the top-notch tourist stops in the world, and having Nyepi brings more colour for the island. However, this festival is not only for the Hindus or Balinese as this involves an island-wide purification, which means that all island’s inhabitants are into this together with no exception. They go into silence for a 24-hour straight while reflecting the ‘Four Nyepi Prohibitions’, which include ‘no fire, no travel, no entertainment, and no noise’. From 6AM to 6PM no lights are allowed, the airport won’t be operated, all the shops remain closed, machinery and vehicle usages are banned, no work is allowed, and people across the island are expected not to be seen in the public area as it is forbidden for them to leave their premises. The Pecalang (Balinese security person) is the authority who controls the process of Nyepi festival.

There are various phases of in which this famous New Year festival is being celebrated at Bali. Melasti, happens three days before Nyepi, is supposed to clean arca or pratima or pralingga with the help of symbols. These symbols help in concentrating the mind towards the gods. It aims to clean the entire nature and the belongings. Tawur Kesanga or well known as ‘ogoh-ogoh’ ceremony is performed exactly a day before the D-day. All villages of Bali hold an exorcism ceremony, which is generally performed at the main village across road. This ‘demons-meeting’ ceremony is definitely a wonderful thing to witness. A day after Nyepi, the festival will continue to Ngembak Geni. It is the real show of bonhomie amongst the Hindu societies, marking by the completion of the silence process and people visit each other’s houses to forgive each other. This is truly an affection show which is being liked by many ones and being adopted in some of the religions.

Some visitors tend to avoid traveling to Bali during Nyepi festival, and one of the reasons is because of the restrictions during the 24-hours of silence. However, the magic of Nyepi is so hauntingly blissful that it must be experienced at least once in a lifetime. And for those who are keen to spend Nyepi in Bali, there are more than enough hotel destinations that can cater guests during this important period.
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