After living in Bali for 8 years now, I thought I’d share a little bit about a very special day here on the island. Every year around the beginning of March we celebrate the Balinese New Year, Nyepi.
It starts with big ‘Ogoh-Ogoh’* parades in the evening before the day of Nyepi. Ogoh-Ogoh normally take the form of mythological beings, mostly demons, evil creatures and gods to represent negative aspects of living things. They are giant monster dolls made of light materials: wood, bamboo, paper, and styrofoam.
The parades are also joined by a lot of noise and music as the Balinese believe that if they make enough noise with this ceremony, that demons and bad spirits will leave Bali alone for the whole new year starting at Nyepi.
Then the day of Nyepi arrives…
It will be tomorrow, Wednesday, March 3rd. Nyepi is a day of total silence, reserved for self-reflection, contemplation and meditation. Everyone stays at home. Light are turned off all across the island, the airport is closed, there is no internet, no work and no entertainment. The local police patrol the streets and everyone is to stay at home.
The tradition asks for no light at all as it is believed that at night the evil forces fly over the island and can not harm humans as they can not see them when all is dark.
Aaaahhh…. can you imagine how peaceful that is? I think this is such a beautiful tradition. Join in with us or create a Nyepi day of your own! Below is a meditation I want to share with you, which you can practice during your personal day of silence.
Peace is something we can all do with a little of – in our minds, in our thoughts, in our lives and in our hearts.