Bali's Day of Complete Silence: Nyepi
When was the last time you sat quietly in contemplation for 24 hours? To celebrate their New Year (Saka new year, based on the cycles of the moon), the island of Bali in Indonesia shuts down for 24 hours. No traffic, no working, no entertainment, no food, no lights... Even the airport (which usually has over 300 planes landing every day) is closed, and tourists must stay within the confides of their accommodation.
All of this happens in the name of self-reflection.
How beautiful is that?
It's called Nyepi and this year the quiet officially starts from 6am on Tuesday 28 March.
Some choose to leave the island to avoid this time, but I've never quite understood why. A day of silence for me feels like total bliss, and I look forward to it, and embraced it. In fact, I think the whole planet should have one day of silence together... huh, can you imagine if that really happened? A day of silence is SO good for the Soul!
Now granted, you can actually eat if you choose to (you just have to be prepared), & of course the internet is abound ~ so of course there are still distractions from 'doing nothing'... however the no traffic and no lights rules are enforced by the local communities & police ~ and I'm glad they do.
The streets have never been so quiet
& the stars have never looked so bright.
A breath of fresh air for Mother Nature.
Funnily enough, the night before Nyepi, would have to be one of the noisiest of the year!
In the early 80's a new tradition was introduced call the 'Ogoh-Ogoh'. Locals create massive ugly demon like statues (some look quite terrifying, yet they are such beautiful pieces of art work), and parade them through the streets once the sun goes down until around midnight.
The parade is a spectacular event, and if you're ever in Bali I highly recommend following the locals that crowd the streets to watch these ugly yet beautiful Ogoh-Ogoh's. Each one is carried on the shoulders by pools of men, who spin the Ogoh-Ogoh three times at every T-section to 'bewilder' the evil sprits. That way they will leave the island and people alone.
Locals will also do a ritual in their own homes of banging sticks and burning incense to wake up any 'evil spirits' before the parade, to help scare them off. I've been told that the day of silence is also to trick the evil spirits into thinking that no one is on the island, and so off they go somewhere else...
Up to you to decide what you would like to believe. But I'm happy to run with it!
Culture, ritual, celebration... it's so nice to experience the world through the eyes of others. We can learn so much.
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An avid lover of fresh coconuts & globe trotting, you will often find Melanie Midegs in Bali, Indonesia.
Melanie mentors private clients, assists with websites & branding for DIY Entrepreneurs, & teaches the Business Chakra System via her online course Program Ignition & touring live workshops.
She is also the founder of The Soul Lounge for Entrepreneurs Facebook Group community.
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