Bali is special for a lot of reasons. Its beautiful scenery, stunning music, down to earth people, incredible food, gorgeous beaches and verdant rice paddies, the gentle sounds of palm trees swaying with the breeze, and the soothing sound of the crickets at night.
Yet, a lot of places have some or all of those things. So what makes Bali so memorable, to the point that most people that visit would like to stay far longer, or forever? Perhaps it’s its utterly authentic spiritual culture, with a mix of Hinduism, Buddhism and Animism. No other day represents this better, than the Balinese New Year, better known as Nyepi.
Nyepi is known as a day of silence, fasting and meditation for the Balinese people. The lights are turned off, people stay home and it all goes quiet, so that one can reflect on — and be grateful for — the sheer joy of living on this planet, with all that nature has to offer. In 2020, it’ll be celebrated from the sunrise of 25th March until sunrise of the 26th.
As the most important (and sacred) day in the Hindu calendar, it’s a special way of celebrating the beginning of the year — and very different to how most cultures around the world celebrate New Year’s Eve, with big parties. Nyepi is also the pinnacle of a six day New Year’s celebration, emphasising peaceful serenity, and spiritual awareness.
In fact, when you’re in the island during this annual celebration, you’ll notice hotels and resorts will cover their windows, shops will close, all lights are turned off (and usually candles as well), so that it’s dark and silent, in honour of the spirits and the land. No cars or motorbikes on the road, either. So it’s a very calm, relaxing time to be in Bali.
Originally, the purpose of Nyepi was (and for many, still is) a time of purification from the evil spirits, prior to the New Year. These evil spirits, which had been lurking around the island, are represented in the Pengrupukan ritual, where they are led to believe that there is no one else left in the ‘island of the gods’, in turn motivating the spirits to leave.
With virtually everywhere closed — tourists stay in their hotels to eat, since restaurants are not open — these rituals are open to the public, which are you will be able to join. At Vision Villa Resort we celebrate Nyepi with a special tour, cooking class and offerings, starting on the eve of 24th March. You can book your Nyepi Package here.
Our Nyepi Package begins with a tour of the nearby village, where you can witness (and take pictures of) this unique spectacle, including the ‘Ogoh-ogoh parade’. This is where local men and boys carry big, colourful demonic creatures — which represent the spirits — through the Bali streets, while accompanied by gamelan music, on the eve of Nyepi.
You may even see some of these Ogoh-ogoh demons going in circles at intersections, but they’re not actually lost… It’s all part of the ritual, meant to confound the evil spirits that may have been following along. It’s a wonderful way to experience the Bali ways.
Nyepi is a lovely time to be in Bali, giving you a calming, authentic perspective on one of the most unique cultures on the planet. Vision Villa’s getaway package* is guaranteed to make your Nyepi an unforgettable experience. The night sky is also the brightest of the year, so make sure to bring a camera for this highly photogenic, traditional night in Bali.
*Inclusions of the Nyepi Getaway Package:
- VIP Welcome Fruit basket
- 2 nights accommodation for two in Garden / Terrace Suite
- Daily Healthy breakfast at Genius Café Vision, or in the privacy of your own room
- Complimentary bottle of house wine
- A 60-minute Balinese Massage for two
- Cooking Class for two
- Cenang making class
- Village tour for Ogoh Ogoh Parade ( 24 March)
Plus some extra goodies, to celebrate this special day!