Bali has a big day called Nyepi Day. In 2020, preparations for the Nyepi celebration ritual begin a few weeks before the actual date with the large Ogoh-ogoh craft. If you travel around the island, maybe you will see some that are being made.
Nyepi holiday starts on March 25th at 6 am and runs until March 26th at 6 am. Literally, everything shuts down and closes for Nyepi day, even the airport will also be closed. You can’t enter or exit the island, no one is allowed out on the road except the Pecalang security guard. Nyepi Day is also known as “Silent Day”. Traditionally, today is meant to practice meditation and fasting to purify oneself, connect with God and reflect.
So, what can you do in Nyepi Day?
Enjoy every event before the day of Nyepi such as:
# Melasti, Self-Purification Ceremony
Parade of Balinese people, they wear white clothes and carry handmade offerings on their heads. This ceremony is held to welcome Nyepi, starting 3 to 4 days before Nyepi Day. Most of the ceremonies are held on the beach, but they can also hold it by the lake or in the springs for villages far away in the mountains. The best places to watch this event are beaches in Nusa Dua, Seminyak, Kuta, Sanur or Lovina. The ceremony is conducted between 10 AM to 5 PM as the villages take turns.
If you have the chance, be sure to go see this annual event. This ceremony will continue to be held throughout the day. If you hear gamelan music, that’s where the ceremony is.
# Ngerupuk Parade
After sunset around 7 pm, when the dark of the night sets in, the Ngerupuk ritual starts. Ngerupuk is held a day before Nyepi. The exciting Ogoh-ogoh parade at night. Ogoh-ogoh is the name of this giant puppet inspired by a frightening demon. They are mythological figures, evil creatures, gods, and demons with rotating eyeballs, large claws and bloody teeth that will make you shudder. The scarier and bigger, the better.
The Balinese believe that these puppets, together with all the sounds of the gamelan orchestra and firing torches, attract demons and evil spirits who live on the island. They will inhabit the Ogoh-ogoh monster and traditionally the puppet is burned at the end of the parade along with the devil.
Every city and village in Bali participates in this festival so you will not miss it wherever you are. The best places to watch are Denpasar, Kuta, Sanur, and Ubud.
Staycation during Nyepi days
# You can enjoy all the facilities of the hotel. Do massage if you like calm and relaxation, or just swim and sunbathe near the pool. For those of you sports lovers, exercising is one of the tips to fill one day of your vacation on Nyepi day. Gym, do a little physical exercise to have good stamina when you are traveling or do yoga if you don’t like strenuous physical exercise.
# Download movies, because the internet will also turn off when Nyepi day. One of Bali’s policies during Nyepi is to shut down the internet for 24 hours, you will not be able to open any social media, but at least you can watch movies that you have saved in offline mode.
# Milky Way. when the whole island is completely dark, you will be able to see a million more stars in the night sky, complete with the arms of the Milky Way. This is a rare sight to be seen, and one of the many reasons people stay in Bali for the Nyepi holiday.
Tips: Buy food supplies before Nyepi day, because you have to stay in the hotel for 24 hours