Bali Promotion Center

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March 10, 2013

Happy day of Silence , Saka New Year 1935

During these past few days , tourists visiting Bali, the island of love,  would  be witnessing one of  the cultural beauties of Bali  as a series of ceremonies and rituals are being conducted by Hindu residents of Bali  in the advent of the day of silence a.k.a  hari Nyepi  and Saka New year 1935. 

Silence befalls Bali , but only for a day on March 12 2013  

We wish you the day of Silence and Happy Saka New Year 1935

Nyepi is a Balinese "Day of Silence" or seclusion day that is commemorated every Isaawarsa (Saka new year) according to the Balinese calendar (in 2012, it fell on March 23rd).  In 2013 it will fall on March 12, 2013 It is a Hindu celebration mainly celebrated in Bali, Indonesia. Nyepi, a Government holiday in Indonesia, is a day of silence, fasting and meditation for the Balinese. The day following Nyepi is also celebrated as New year.
It is generally observed from 6 a.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning, Nyepi is a day reserved for self-reflection and introspection  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 deserted , Bo TVs and radios transmissions will be broadcast on the island , and few signs of activity can be 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.

Even though 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.

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika sent a letter numbered 003.2/17319/DPIK dated 6 November 2012,  to four Ministers, the Minister of Transportation EE Mangindaan, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi and Communication and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring.
in connection with the temporary closing of Ngurah Rai International Airport due to Nyepi Holiday, Saka New Year 1935 on Tuesday 12 March 2013. In addition , it was also sent to Directorate General of Land, Water, and Air Transportation in Communication and Information Ministry, as well as the Head of Bali Parliament and all regents/ head of municipality in Bali.
“The letter has been sent early so that it could be read out to any national and international institutions,” the Head of Publicity Bureau Bali Province I Ketut Teneng said.
The letter was also copied to twenty seven related institutions in the central level and Bali, including head of Airport Authority Office Area IV Tuban and head of harbor in this area.
He added that the letter of the Airport and Harbour closing was purposefully sent early, which was four months prior to the day of silence  a.k.a  Nyepi day
The notice to those four Ministers was intended to be able to be disseminated to airline companies both in Indonesia and overseas.
It will  not allow the airlines to schedule flight to and from Bali when Hindus people  are  doing their  Tapa Brata Penyepian .The four prohibitions  observed  by Hindus people on Nyepi include amati geni (no lighting  up fire), amati karya (no working), amati lelungan (no travelling) and amati lelanguan (no indulging in pleasure nor entertainment).
He also added that the temporary closing of Ngurah Rai Airport this year will be the fifteenth  times since 1999, that happens for twenty four hours since 06.00 am Wita to 06.00 am the next morning.
“Pastika sent letter to the Ministers and related institutions about the airport closing, which is supported by  the letter of Air Transportation Directorate General in Transportation Ministry dated 1 September 1999 about Ngurah Rai operational system,” Ketut Teneng explained.
The notice from Bali Governor stated prohibition that must be obeyed by all people in Bali, which is intended for all governmental institution (civics, TNI, and Police), as well as private companies, religious groups , customs agency, airlines, land transportation and cruise company.
He said that, PT (Persero) Angkasa Pura I Ngurah Rai Airport have sent notice to airmen  regarding  the temporary closing to all international airlines both in Indonesia and abroad.
Early socialization has also  been carried out  with the involvement  of  travel agent and hotels to keep the visiting  tourists to Bali informed
“By knowing information about Nyepi as well as the temporary closing of Ngurah Rai Airport, tourists coming from various parts of the world  could fly to Bali one day earlier or delay their departure one day after Nyepi,” Ketut Teneng wished.

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.

  • First, The Melasti Ritual is performed 3-4 days beforehand. It is dedicated to Sanghyang Widhi Wasa. The ritual is performed in Pura (Balinese temple) near the sea (Pura Segara) and meant to purify Arca, Pratima, and Pralingga (sacred objects) belonging to several temples, also to acquire sacred water from the sea.
  • Second, The Bhuta Yajna Ritual is performed in order to vanquish the negative elements and create a balance with God, Mankind, and Nature. The ritual is also meant to appease Batara Kala by Pecaruan offering. Devout Hindu Balinese villages usually make ogoh-ogoh, demonic statues made of bamboo and paper symbolizing negative elements or malevolent spirits. After the ogoh-ogoh have been paraded around the village, the Ngrupuk ritual takes place, which involves burning the ogoh-ogoh.
  • Third, the Nyepi Rituals are performed as follows:
    • Amati Geni: No fire or light, including no electricity
    • Amati Karya: No working
    • Amati Lelunganan: No travelling
    • Amati Lelanguan: Fasting and no revelry/self-entertainment
  • Fourth, the Yoga/Brata Ritual starts at 6:00 a.m. and continues to 6:00 p.m. the next day.
  • Fifth, the Ngembak Agni/Labuh Brata Ritual is performed for all Hindus to forgive each other and to welcome the new days to come.
  • Sixth and finally, The Dharma Shanti Rituals is performed as the Nyepi Day or "Day of Silence."
  • More on the day of silence 2012Day of Silence 2012, Saka new Year 1934
 Courtesy of Artchastudio

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