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The Balinese NEW YEAR, “NYEPI” – day of silence – will fall this year on Tuesday, March 12, 2013.
The great festival of NYEPI marks the celebration of the Balinese solar new year. It is held at the spring equinox and announces the beginning of spring and the end of rainy season. But more important, NYEPI is a ceremony of a special nature, designed to clean out the island and to drive out all the evil spirits by magic curses and other traditional customs.
Approaching NYEPI you will notice great excitement all over Bali. Every village would bring out large processions to take the Gods to sea for their symbolical bath. At sunset on Monday, March 11th , “Ogoh–Ogoh” – giant effigies – processions accompanied by gamelan musicians and people carrying torch lights can be seen all over the island. These processions are meant to drive away the evil spirits.
Nyepi itself is a day of complete rest which follows the actual ceremony of purification. No fires, no lights, no work, no cooking are permitted on that day. All activities are stopped on the island and the traffic is severely restricted, except in case of emergency. There will be no tours nor transportation available. Tourists and everyone in Bali should plan to stay within the hotel compounds or at home for the entire day of March 12th, 2013 from 6 AM until 6 AM the next morning. The government of Bali has also announced that there will be no departure nor arrival flights during that day. The last arrival before Nyepi should be March 11th. In case of emergency, only transiting, refueling aircrafts and medical evacuations are allowed.
On this Balinese Holy Day, we hope that everyone on the island will spend a pleasant and relaxing day. Please be guided accordingly.
Bali, March 2013