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February 21, 2011

Bali airport to be closed for Nyepi day, March 5th. 2011

 Bali Governor Informs Ministers of Airport Closure on March 5th.  2011

DENPASAR, BALI - Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali, will be closed for 24 hours on March 5, 2011 on the occasion of Nyepi (Silence) Day, the provincial government announced.

Bali Province Transportation and Informatics Office head I Made Santha said on Wednesday (Feb.16) the notification of the closure of Bali Airport was given in a letter from Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika to four ministries on November 30, 2010.

The four ministries were Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs, Transportation and Communication and Informatics.

Santha added that the notification has been conveyed to the relevant authorities four months ahead of the holiday so as to avoid unexpected problems arising from the closure of the airport during the holiday when no activities are permitted to take place.

Bali province government, he added, does not want to see a chaos during the holiday if airlines and travel agencies do not adjust their schedules for Bali. It is expected that all arrivals or departures from Bali are scheduled a day earlier or later from March 5, 2011.

The Day of Silence is observed strictly in Bali in accordance with Hinduism embraced by the people on the island where Hinduism in the most predominant religion.

Based on Balinese Hinduism faith, during the holiday the people are not allowed to perform four prohibitions, namely those linked with fire (electricity), working activity, travel and entertainment (music and dancing).


It has given travel agencies and hotels adequate notice so the travelers from various countries will book their trip to Bali a day early or a day later after Nyepi.
The temporary closure will be effective for 24 hours on March 5 from 6 AM till 6 in the following morning . This temporary airport closure is going to be the 13th time and has been going on since 1999.

No television shows allowed during Nyepi Day of Silence

Ni Komang Erviani, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar 
Bali will temporarily stop television broadcasts of local, national and cable television networks on the Day of Silence, or Nyepi, on March 5, an official said.

No TV programs would be aired during Nyepi, Komang Suarsana, chairman of the National Broadcast Commission Bali chapter, said after a meeting with members of the Bali Legislative Council on Wednesday.

“In the previous years, national and cable TV networks were allowed to broadcast during Nyepi. This year, there will be no more TV on Nyepi Day,” said Suarsana.

During Nyepi, which observes the Hindu Caka New Year, Balinese people will stay at home, praying and meditating.

The locals are banned from turning on lights, starting fires and traveling outside their houses. The airport, offices and schools will be closed for 24 hours. Bali will be dark and silent.

“All TV stations and cable networks operating in Bali must abide by this regulation,” added Suarsana.

He said that TV stations and cable networks should not violate the regulation as it would become a point of consideration when the commission grants their operational permits on the island.

Priyo Sudariatmo from MNC Sky Vision, Indovision and Top TV said his company would be ready to follow the regulation. “However, we cannot break our contracts with consumers,” he explained.

Made Arjaya, chairman of Commission I of the Legislative Council, said the regulation was aimed at respecting the Balinese Hindu society’s observance of the holy day in a more decent way.

“This [regulation] could become a manifestation of inter-faith tolerance,” added Arjaya.

Ida Bagus Purwa Sidemen, from the Bali Chapter of the Association of the Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants, said the association’s members were ready to comply with the regulation.

“We will inform our guests about this condition. Generally, the majority of foreign visitors would understand this condition and would likely not complain about it,” Sidemen said.

On the other hand, it was domestic visitors who would likely lodge complaints about the stoppage of television broadcasts during Nyepi Day, Sidemen added.

Raka Santeri, from the Hindu High Council, called on Balinese people to carry out the Nyepi ritual as part of their efforts to get close to their Creator.

“Nyepi Day is a perfect time to listen to our hearts’ conscience. We call on our brothers and sisters of different faiths to respect the regulation imposed during Nyepi day.”


Nyepi is a Balinese "Day of Silence" that commemorated every Isakawarsa (Saka new year) according to Bali's calendar (in 2011, it will be on March 5th). It is a day of silence, fasting, and meditation. The day following Nyepi is also celebrated as New year Gudi Padva in Maharashtra and Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in India.
Observed from 6 a.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning, Nyepi is a day reserved for self-reflection and as such, anything that might interfere with that purpose is restricted. The main restrictions are: no lighting fires (and lights must be kept low); no working; no entertainment or pleasure; no traveling; and for some, no talking or eating at all. The effect of these prohibitions is that Bali’s usually bustling streets and roads are empty, there is little or no noise from TVs and radios, and few signs of activity are seen even inside homes. The only people to be seen outdoors are the Pecalang, traditional security men who patrol the streets to ensure the prohibitions are being followed.
Although Nyepi is primarily a Hindu holiday, non-Hindu residents of Bali observe the day of silence as well, out of respect for their fellow citizens. Even tourists are not exempt; although free to do as they wish inside their hotels, no one is allowed onto the beaches or streets, and the only airport in Bali remains closed for the entire day. The only exceptions granted are for emergency vehicles carrying those with life-threatening conditions and women about to give birth.
On the day after Nyepi, known as Ngembak Geni, social activity picks up again quickly, as families and friends gather to ask forgiveness from one another, and to perform certain religious rituals together.

 The Experience of Nyepi day ( day of silence in Bali )

Located in southern Asia, the mystical island of Bali is only one of more than 17,000 islands making up the largest archipelago in the world, Indonesia. Bali offers a unique cultural experience along with a gorgeous tropical climate making the island the most popular vacation destination in Indonesia.Within this unique culture comes tradition much different than that in North America. Hinduism is the main religion practiced on Bali and it’s common place for visitors to see an abundance of offerings, known as banten, placed several times daily along the roadside and streets to honor the Hindu gods. The offerings are made up of palm leaves, flowers, fruit, rice and incense.

Balinese people celebrate their Caka New Year in absolutely different kind of style. Far from hearty-party to welcome a new year like other new year eve celebrations, the Caka New Year always welcomed with silence; no sound, no light, no fun, no traveling and no work at all during the whole day. People spend the whole day to pray, introspect to themselves, meditate, and fasting. This year, Nyepi day will be on March 7.
The Nyepi (Silence day) will be preceded with several ceremonies, like melis or mekiyis a purification ceremony held in welcoming Nyepi day ,a long procession of Hindu followers carrying temple effigies and other sacred symbols, heading to beaches or springs where the purification rituals are held.
It will be quite a view, two days prior the Nyepi to find that every beaches in Bali crowded by people with their sacred symbols, music, dancers and followers. Balinese people unconcerned over the fact that the beaches also crowded with tourists which watch them keenly over the whole proceedings.
One day prior the Nyepi day, it will be held a Tawur Agung Kesanga (Great Sacrifice ceremony) to welcome Nyepi day. The ceremony is focused, at every cross-roads in Bali. The ritual is followed by Pengrupukan, procession "Ogoh-Ogoh" (monster replica) symbolizing evil spirit and torches around the villages and towns as to exorcise them away from people' residences . So that those evil spirits will not disturb the process of the Caka New Year.
The Ogoh-ogoh procession will be held at evening. The monster replicas were made for a whole full month and made from bamboo, papers, cloths, paints, and other materials to create a very huge and fearsome monster. The Ogoh-ogoh will be lifting by a group of young men, parade it around the town, to every cross-roads while other groups bringing torches.
However, unwanted and unfortunate incidents often happened during the procession, like street-brawls between two different groups of young men.
After all the noise and rumbling procession through the night, the Nyepi day will be very quiet like in the tombs. Bali government released several regulation concerned over the Nyepi day procedure in Bali.
* People will not allowed to go out during the day unless it matter of urgency and emergency.
* No flight out of Bali for the day, unless flight into and transit flight to Bali, and transit passengers will not be allowed to wander off the airport and they must stay at airport until tomorrow.
* Harbors and terminals are closed for the day. Every ships and ferries out from Bali and into Bali have to be delayed for the day after.
* Hospitals, police stations, fire stations and ambulances are still on duty.
Experience Nyepi Day in Bali
For people and expatriates who wants to experience the Nyepi Day traditionally at home rather than escape to convenient hotels should follows these tips below:
* Don't make any noise out of your domain (from your television, your radio or your i-pod) better if you restrain your pets inside.
* You may go out to your veranda, to your garden, but don't go to the main street.
* Don't cook any food that may release strong odors in the air, it will disrupt your neighborhood
* When the night fall, don't light the garden, veranda and garage lights, close all your heavy curtains to avoid any light seep out the windows, or you may join other to light out your lamps.
* Prepare and ensure your larder full for three days and two nights (or you'll get famish for the rest of the day), candles, torches, and spare batteries.
* Ensure your cellular phone battery is full
* Make note for emergency telephone numbers such nearest police station, nearest hospitals, and fire department and put them near your telephone device or input those numbers into your cell phone.
* Plan carefully if you want to travel out from Bali. Don't wait up until the last minute, or you may be stranded at airport or forced to seek nearest accommodation in the harbors.
Many people and expatriates choose to spend their Nyepi day holiday in a hotel or a villa that offers convenience for three days two nights packages with competitive prices. Those hotels offers services, activities and competitive price and you can fill your day with your favorite activities with fantastic cheaper price.
When the new dawn break after the Nyepi Day, the air of Bali Island will be very cool and fresh, just like the air in the high mountain with morning dew and let us experience the luxury feeling after the a full day and night in silence and without emission release to the air.

 


In North America, New Year’s celebrations take the form of boisterous activities while on Bali, the New Year is met with a Day of Silence known as Nyepi Day. Held on the day after the spring equinox, usually in March, the Nyepi Day of Silence takes places from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00 a.m. the following morning.

In the three days prior to Nyepi Day (known as Melasti or Mekiyis), Balinese streets are filled with giant paper-mache and bamboo sculpted monsters which ward off evil spirits. Proudly constructed by local Balinese youth, these larger-than-life creatures known as ogoh-ogohs are reconstructed from classic Balinese folklore as effigies to the Hindu Gods. Featuring bright colors, huge fangs, large bulging eyes, and out of control hair, they symbolize the evil spirits that must be removed from the island in order to maintain peace and harmony on Bali for the New Year ahead.

On the day prior to Nyepi Day, Tawur Kesanga, the island is exorcised from these evil looking ogoh-oghos. In Hindu tradition at sunset, a procession carries the ogoh-ogoh through the main part of the village where evil spirits are said to gather. Accompanied by a haunting combination of clanging cymbals, gongs, and drums, this loud clashing and clattering noise helps to scare away any evil demons that may be lurking about. Upon reaching the nearest beach, the ogoh-ogohs are set ablaze much to the delight of onlookers as the celebratory exorcism takes place.

The following morning brings Nyepi Day. Folklore states that if the island of Bali remains quiet and dark throughout Nyepi, it will fool any lurking demons into thinking that no one is home on the island of Bali and that they should visit elsewhere. The idea is to avoid the attention of the evil gods, meaning good luck and peace for the Balinese New Year to come.

For tourists, Nyepi Day means a day of 24-hour prohibition and restricted activities as no one is allowed to leave their resort or accommodations, nor go to the beach. All restaurants, stores, and businesses throughout the island are closed on Nyepi Day. Vacationers are asked to kindly respect this Balinese tradition and to cooperate by returning to their rooms in the early evening and by drawing their curtains tight so as not to let any light escape to attract wandering spirits.

Residents of Bali are required to remain in their homes and observe the basic laws of Nyepi Day: no driving, no working, no eating, no noise-making, no visible lights, and no entertainment or love-making.

The Balinese people display kindness and genuine sincerity to their visitors making it easy to comply and respect this most honored annual tradition of Nyepi Day.

 

There's a Kind of Hush

Bali Hotels Told Not To Go Overboard in Promoting 'Nyepi' Packages.


Bali News: There's a Kind of Hush
(2/21/2011) It has become something a tradition among Balinese hotels to promote special Nyepi Packages to help address occupancy downturns during the Bali-Hindi day of absolute silence. Many local residents have found taking refuge in a luxury hotel where all facilities remain in operation a ready solution to staying in the private residences where local community police (pacalang) ensure no lights are illuminated, no sounds are emerging residences and no one dare venture forth during the 24 hours period. Through a tacit understanding between the local Hindu community and hoteliers, hotels are exempted from strict enforcement of the rules providing guests understand they are not to leave the hotel's premises for any reason.


The chairman of the Hindu High Counsel of Bali (PHDI-Bali), IGN Sudiana is urging hoteliers in Bali to undertake a low-key approach to promoting their "Nyepi Packages" and avoid offering special entertainments and activities during the day of silence.


Speaking to the Bali Post, Sudiana remarked how Bali hotels are becoming increasingly sophisticated in how they market their "Nyepi Packages" with many expanding the package to three-days, including ogoh-ogohNyepi, and organizing special entertainment and games on the hotel grounds during the 24 hours of silence. These promotions are proving effective in luring visitors to Bali, persuading local non-Hindu residents to escape to a local hotel and even, in some instances, attracting Balinese Hindus to take advantage of Nyepi in a hotel. traditional parade experiences on the night before


Sudiana has no fundamental objection with hotels promoting "Nyepi Packages" providing they do so within bounds that do not offend the sensibilities of the island's majority Hindu population. Moreover, he feels that through proper socialization, guests at hotels will be happy to observe the day of silence, choosing to dim or turn off lights and maintain a degree of quietude throughout the 24-hour period.


Sudiana said he hoped that local hotels would not accommodate Balinese Hindus seeking to avoid their NyepiBrata Penyepian dogmas of silence and non-activity. religious obligations through at a hotel. When a Balinese Hindu is for some reason compelled to stay in a hotel during this 24-hour period of silence he or she should follow the


Sounding a similar note, the chairman of Commission I of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), Made Arjaya, said hotels should use the Nyepi period to share the true meaning of the sacred day and not indulge in creating packages offering added facilities and entertainments while the rest of the island just outside the hotel is in a state of quiet reflection. 

Sources : Balidiscovery.com,  Wkipedia, the Jakartapost.com and  thecircumference.org, indo.com

 Happy New year 2011
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