Have you ever planning holiday trip to Bali at Nyepi Day (Seclusion Day), a forbidden day for any activities, including travelling, sightseeing, and even having fun in public with your friends and families?
Well actually, ‘Nyepi holiday’ have an interesting allurement than any other days in Bali. As one of the biggest Hindus community in Indonesia, Balinese uphold their customs and culture, including Nyepi commemoration. This ritual held by carrying out Catur Brata Penyepian, four prohibition that must be obeyed, which are amati karya (restriction to work), amati lelungan (restriction to travel), amati geni (restriction to light a fire), dan amati lelanguan (restriction to having fun). With this four restriction have to obeyed create unusual atmosphere in Bali.
Melasti By @journeysmeetingsandbeyond (Instagram)
As a traveller, you are indirect bound with those rule. If decided not to obey, you can deal with Pecalang, local customary police, or even kicked out from Bali.
Then where is the fun when you have to deal with those kind of restriction?
Well, Bali is unique and cool, you know! Every ritual and religious ceremony have interesting and attractive aspect to follow, and definitely memorable too.
Preparation for Nyepi By @jayneytravels (Instagram)
Two days before Nyepi as example, when Bali’s Hindunese held Melasti ceremony, sanctification ritual for all means of praying at Pura (the temple) with paraded to the beach or lake. The philosophy is beach and lake are the source of holy water (tirta amerta) to clean all the dirty (leteh) in human and nature. In south Bali, one of the beach you have to visit to witnessed this procession are Sanur beach, and Pantai Candidasa at east Bali.
One day before Nyepi, on ‘tilem sasih kesanga‘ (the ninth death moon), Hindunese celebrate Buta Yadnya ceremony in any kind of society levels, by taking one from many ‘caru’ (offerings). The purpose is that Sang Buta Raja, Buta Kala and Batara Kala will not giving harm to society.
Ogoh-Ogoh by @frantravelfly (Instagram)
On the same day, also take place Ngerupuk ritual, which is identic with Ogoh-Ogoh cavalcade. The goal of this parade same with above, to dispel Buta Kala from their neighborhood. And this is also your last day to get prepared for 24 hours of quietness, such as getting ready with drugs, food, soft drinks or anything you need.
Night full of stars at Bali By @demiusnevados (Instagram)
And comes the d-day. On this moment, traveller have to obey the four restriction apply. But, as a replacement, you’ll see on naked eye clear sky at night, with million sparkling stars as your main view. You’ll also get free fresh clear air, one of things that you can’t get right now. Relaxing atmosphere and quiet environment are another extra bonuses that you’ll get.
Ngembak Geni is the next step from this ritual, a day after Nyepi. Balinese will pay a visit to their family and relatives. And one of the interesting things to see is Omed-Omedan ritual. At Sesetan Village Denpasar, Balinese boys and girls will kissing each others as a sacred ritual, which has been run for generations.
If you want to feel different and unique vacation atmosphere in Bali, Nyepi day have to be your option to take. But, you have to take main attention to the flight and hotel reservation. My recommendation to get the best sensation of Nyepi is the two days before and one day after the ceremony. Happy vacations!