Nyepi 2014, Day of Silence

Hari Raya Nyepi 2014 marks the Balinese-Hindu’s New Year for Caka Year 1936. Nyepi is a celebration to be spent in silence, in meditation toward self-reflection.

Ogoh-Ogoh During Buta Yajna Ceremony, Nyepi

The Day of Silence is preceded by a series of ceremony in the following:

    • Melasti: Is a purifying ceremony or ritual takes place several days before Nyepi in all pura , during which the devotees also acquire sacred water from the sea
    • Butha Yajna: is a ritual of warding off negative energy and elements. This ritual is performed by parading huge paper mache, or styrofoam statues (mostly in demonic forms, hence the name, butha which means evil giants) around the banjar or village (or several of them at once). A full-blown ogoh-ogoh parade is a huge festivities worth watching. Don’t forget to bring your favorite poison along

And continued by:

  • Ngembak Agni or Labuh Brata: Celebrating the the first day of the new year by visiting neighbors and relatives, forgives each other in good will to represent good hope for the days to come.
  • Dharma Shanti: The closing rituals of the whole Nyepi processions.

There are several things to observe during Nyepi day, namely:

  • Amati Geni: Amati means “without”, geni means fire (or anything that emits light). Performed by not using lamp, lighting all kinds of fire (no cooking allowed is implied) during the ritual.
  • Amati Karya: Karya means “working” so this means simply: No working
  • Amati Lelungan: No travelling (go outside the house)
  • Amati LelanguanI don’t know what lelanguan is, but this point is performed by fasting and stay off self-entertainment.

All non-Hindu residents including tourists usually also observe Nyepi out of respect. They’re expected to stay indoor during the whole Nyepi day.

Many expats and other non-Hindu residents and tourists prefer to go somewhere else during Nyepi, usually to the Gilis, but me (as a non-Hindu), I really enjoy Nyepi. This is the only time of the year when I could see the stars in their fullest glory above Bali. The silence isn’t too bad either. It’s so quiet it’s deafening. Majestic.

Usually I use this chance to make a resolution (it’s a new year, anyway), to reflect and introspect, and to meditate. With the new moon, the silence and the stars above, meditating as I ward all the negative elements out of my system is truly a profound experience.

Selamat Hari Raya Nyepi 2014, Tahun Caka 1936…

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