Nyepi Day – Tips to Experience Balinese New Year

January 30, 2020

Happen in March most of the time, is Balinese New Year’s Day, or called Nyepi. People in Bali – or everyone who stays in Bali during this day – are obligated to respect the Nyepi Day. 

Beautiful nature

1. The Celebration of Nyepi Day

Most affiliate the new year with fireworks, and parties. Bali, on the other hand, celebrates the Balinese New Year or referred as Saka New Year as the day of silence. It is the day when all people on the island are required to bring all activities to a halt for a day. Hence, you can expect empty streets, closed shops and even airport in Bali, and experience complete silence and darkness across the island, even in the busiest tourist spots.

Three days prior to the Nyepi day, highlight the rituals of colorful processions known as the Melasti ritual. Balinese people will have a long walks to the coastline or the beach, where purification ceremonies take place. Then on Saka’s New Year’s Eve is when the festivities happen or called the pengrupukan day. The young member of banjar prepare a masterpiece called ogoh-ogoh that are built throughout the months leading up to the Nyepi. These creative young people are responsible for designing, crafting and building the mythical figures with bamboo-work to represent malevolent ‘spirits’, or also called as Kala.

Ogoh-Ogoh festival before Nyepi Day

Kala in Balinese beliefs represent the spirits that live in the realm below the human realm. This ceremony can also act as an offering for Kala to keep them in their realm and not disturbing human whom doing the meditation at Nyepi Day. 

At evening, just before the ogoh-ogoh parade begin, most people will hitting pots and pans or loud instruments along with a fiery bamboo torch, and with blessings at the family temple to chasing away evil forces in their house. The Pengrupukan – or Nyepi’s Eve parade usually starts at around 19:00 local time.


Dark sky on Nyepi Day

2. The Meaning of Nyepi Day

Nyepi is a day for introspection or self-reflection. There are some restrictions that should be obey during the Nyepi Day.

The restrictions are:

  • Amati Geni: No fires (and lights must be kept dimmed as low as possible) – you are able to light a lamp if you have a baby or special needs and it should be under the permission of the Banjar
  • Amati Karya: no working – You should not have any working activities during the day.
  • Amati Lelanguan: no entertainment or pleasure – usually TV Cables are switched off also there are no radio channels turned on during the day. Start from 2016, the “internet” also temporarily turned off by the government during the Nyepi day.
  • Amati Lelungan: no traveling – during the Nyepi day, you are forbid to go outside of your home.
  • and, for some, Upawasa: no talking or eating at all. From the sunrise until the sunrise on the next day.

The effect of these prohibitions is that ATMs are disabled, roads are empty, there is little or no noise from any electronic devices, and few signs of activity are seen even inside homes. The night will be pitch-dark resembling a ghost town and essentially no sign of life is expected. 

The only people that are able to went outside are Pecalang, usually they will wear dark-colored Balinese Traditional outfit with kamen poleng – sarong with a chessboard motive. They are the traditional security men who patrol the streets to ensure the prohibitions are being followed. Pecalang patrol the streets taking day and night shifts and don’t hesitate to catch both locals and tourists. It is suggested to stay within your villa to avoid getting fined.

Due to the strict rules of Nyepi day that should be followed by those who staying in Bali, amazingly it gives many positive impacts to the earth and human life. Our earth is recharging and starting everything from zero. These unique facts about Nyepi in Bali will let you to feel living in a genuine natural earth. This is the real paradise!


Nyepi Day - Tips to Experience Balinese New Year

3. Nyepi Day – When the island switches off

Any activities – including the airport – stops island-wide at 06:00 to 06:00 on the day of the Nyepi. Some look at it as a time to relax, while others consider it a chance for the Earth to ‘reboot’ themselves for one out of the 365 days.

At Ubud Villas Rental by Red Lotus, we take the holy ‘Day of the Silence’ or Nyepi Day as an opportunity to reunite with family, self-reflection and do some meditation to recharge the senses. Here is our take on what you can do during Nyepi Day:

It is suggested to respect the Balinese traditions during Nyepi

You can ask your villa butler to do groceries before Nyepi. If you are staying in the villa, you still can cook. Our villa butler also will be able to serve more special menu for food and beverages to ensure that our guests are not alone and blind to this experience.


The sky is full of stars

Watch the sky illuminates with bare eyes!

As the whole island sleeps, no lights means the moon and stars are the only source of light. Take the opportunity to admire the beauty of the light while you can. Take your camera to capture the most breathtaking scenery during this time of year.

Give digital detox a shot on Nyepi Day

Use the time to give yourself a break from the Internet. Be present, enjoy the silence, or talking about random deep things with someone that you love. Have a nice and memorable quality time.


Ubud Villas Rental

If you want to have a perfect experience during Nyepi day, you should stay with us in our villa. Since most of our villas have spacious garden for you and your family to stargaze and amazed by the beautiful night-sky. Our villa butler will more than happy to assist you during your stay on Nyepi Day.

Find your perfect villa in Ubud or unique villa in Saba now by contacting our reservation team of find the availability during this day!