Bali, a little island filled with thousands of enchantments. The beautiful nature covering its land, delicious food being sold on the streets and the most precious thing of all is the richness Balinese people hold in their culture. Among daily offerings to the gods and spirits, countless temple rituals, there is one day that is Bali’s most unique charm, called Nyepi or The Day of Silence.
Nyepi is a Hindunese new year on the Balinese Caka lunar calendar. Its date falls at the time of the new moon, between the months of March and April. This sacred day was named from the word Sepi whose meaning is quiet or silent. The Balinese completely immerse themselves in what’s known as Catur Brata Penyepian, or the four prohibitions of Amati Karya (no work), Amati Geni (no fire, light, and electricity) , Amati Lelungan (no traveling), and Amati Lelanguan (no entertainment).
Meaning there are no lights, no work, no travelling and no entertainment allowed. The airport is closed and the rush is put on pause. For the next 24 hours, the Bali Island falls completely silent. They enter the new chapter of their lives in solitude. Connecting with oneself, their family and nature. Taking the time to meditate, self-reflect, and pray to honor the Nyepi day.
Not as much as the other parts of the world, to honor the beginning of the new year, one should celebrate it in its own solitude. Spending their time reflecting on their existence, to meditate and pray. After all, the true meaning to this holy day is to achieve spiritual purification. As for oneself, the same can be said for the island we call home.
What we can learn from their ancient tradition is so much more than turning off our computers. It encourages us to reflect on our past actions and cherish the little things that life has given us. The simple surroundings of people we love and the nature in which we had built our homes. It teaches us how to breathe more consciously and live with the gratitude in our hearts.