Nyepi is a Balinese "Day of Silence" that is commemorated every Isakawarsa (Saka new year) according to the Balinese calendar (in 2021, it falls on March 14). It is a Hindu celebration mainly celebrated in Bali, Indonesia. Nyepi, a public holiday in Indonesia, is a day of silence, fasting and meditation for the Balinese. The day following Nyepi is also celebrated as New Year's Day.[1][2] On this day, the youth of Bali in the village of Sesetan in South Bali practice the ceremony of Omed-omedan or 'The Kissing Ritual' to celebrate the new year. The same day is celebrated in India as Ugadi.

Sanur Beach.JPG
A Balinese beach at Nyepi
Also calledDay of silence
Observed byBalinese Hinduism
TypeHindus, cultural
CelebrationsPerform tapa brata penyepian
ObservancesPrayers, Religious rituals, Fasting
Begins6 AM
EndsAfter 24 hours
DateHindu Balinese Saka
Kedasa 1
2020 dateWednesday, 25 March
2021 dateSunday, 14 March

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, limited access to Internet 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 and tourists are not exempt from the restrictions. Although they are 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 responding to life-threatening conditions and women about to give birth.[3][4]

On the day after Nyepi, known as Ngembak Geni (Relighting the Fire), social activity picks up again quickly, as families and friends gather to ask forgiveness from one another, and to perform certain religious rituals together. Fires and electricity are allowed again, and cooking of food resumes. Nyepi can be traced as far back as 78 A.D [5]


Tawur Kesanga, a ritual procession on the eve of Nyepi, celebrated a day before. The children carry flame torches that are used to light bonfires which symbolically burn ogoh-ogoh statues.[6] [5]
  • 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 of live animal sacrifice. Around sunset the "Pengrupukan" ceremony begins in the house compounds with the noisy banging of pots and pans and bamboo tubes along with burning of dried coconut leaf torches to drive out the demons.
The last day of the year includes processions of Bhuta (demons, above), followed by Nyepi, the festival of silence.

Most Hindu Balinese villages make Ogoh-ogoh, demonic statues made of richly painted bamboo, cloth, tinsel, and styrofoam symbolising negative elements or malevolent spirits or even characters from Hindu mythology. After the Ogoh-ogoh have been paraded around the village, they are burned in the cemeteries although many are displayed in front of community halls for another month or more and sometimes even purchased by museums and collectors.

A deserted street at Nyepi
  • 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: No revelry/self-entertainment
  • Fourth, the Yoga/Brata Ritual starts at 6:00 a.m. and continues to 6:00 a.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 are performed after all the Nyepi rituals are finished.[3]


CE year Balinese
Nyepi date
2009 1931 26 March
2010 1932 16 March
2011 1933 5 March
2012 1934 23 March
2013 1935 12 March
2014 1936 31 March
2015 1937 21 March
2016 1938 9 March
2017 1939 28 March
2018 1940 17 March
2019 1941 7 March
2020 1942 25 March
2021 1943 14 March

Related festivalsEdit

Many Hindus in the Indian subcontinent observe the same day as new year. For example, the Hindus of Maharashtra term the same festival, observed on the same day, Gudi Padwa (Marathi: गुढी पाडवा). The Sindhis, people from Sindh, celebrate the same day as Cheti Chand, which is the beginning of their calendar year. Manipuris also celebrate their New Year as Sajibu Nongma Panba on the same day. The Hindus of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka also celebrate their new year on the same day as Ugadi.


Security is provided by the usual hansip, while the pecalang are redirected into security roles from their usual mundane tasks like traffic coordination to beef up the local security. These two security forces report to local village heads, in 2017 it is reported islandwide that some 22,000 pecalang are taking part for Nyepi.[7] National police also take part, but naturally ultimately report to Jakarta rather than the village or regency level.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Hogue, Thomas (2006-03-24). "In Bali, a holiday for the ears". The New York Times. New York. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2011-03-07.
  2. ^ Onishi, Norimitsu (2011-03-06). "Silence Befalls Bali, but Only for a Day". The New York Times. New York. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2011-03-07.
  3. ^ a b "Pelaksanaan Hari Raya Nyepi di Indonesia". Babad Bali. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  4. ^ Greg Rodgers. "The Balinese Day of Silence". About.com. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  5. ^ a b Nyepi: Bali's day of Silence Culture, Bali & Indonesia (2009)
  6. ^ Nyepi Archived 2013-11-04 at the Wayback Machine Bali, Indonesia (February 2013)
  7. ^ "Balinese Hindus to Parade 7,000 Giant Puppets Ahead of Nyepi Celebration".

External linksEdit