Every year I’d get a bunch of DMs about Nyepi and why the island isn’t as busy as it usually is. This year the Balinese Hindu’s ‘Day of Silence’ starts from sunrise on 7th March till sunrise on 8th March.
WHAT IS NYEPI?
While we go all out celebrating New Year, the Balinese kick off the Saka New Year with a day of silence, meditation and for some, fasting. The island comes to a standstill: there’s no light, no noise, no traffic (imagine that!), and you’re officially not allowed to work or cook.
It’s such a nice time to be in Bali, a little quieter than usual and a real sense of community.
THE SPIRITUAL SIDE
Three or four days beforehand, on Melasti, the Balinese head to the beaches for a purification ritual. On the eve of Nyepi, you’ll see street parades of Ogoh-Ogoh, tall frightening papier-mache sculptures representing evil spirits. Crowds gather and make loud noises supposedly to help rid the island of these spirits. It’s pretty fun to watch.
I totally get why people get freaked out about what to expect, especially when the likelihood is that TV, internet, and electricity will be switched off in most places, even villas. My tip: Book a 2-night stay at a resort. Most have 24-hour room service which is a real win for this time of year.
Some recommendations: The Trans Resort (Seminyak), Bali Dynasty Resort (Kuta), Alaya Resort (Ubud), Prama Sanur Beach Bali Hotel (Sanur), RIMBA Jimbaran Bali by AYANA (Jimbaran), Banyan Tree Ungasan (Uluwatu), Ayodya Resort (Nusa Dua).
If you’re planning to leave Bali, note that the airport will be closed during Nyepi. The nearby Gili islands are also a popular place to head to during this time.
One thing I will say is that in our busy, high-tech lives, a day of silence can be rare. If you’re heading to Bali or planning on being there for Nyepi, enjoy the peace and quiet in what I consider to be one of the most beautiful places in the world.