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Nyepi – Silent Day for Bali

The Balinese do an amazing job of shutting down the island for one of their most important days of the year, Nyepi:

Observed from 6 a.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning, Nyepi is a day reserved forĀ 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.

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We woke up and went to our roof, where I made a video of the sounds of the island:

Turn up your volume to hear the birds. In the distance is the low hum of breaking waves on the beach.

The evening before Nyepi the Balinese normally gather in their villages and parade their statues of the evil spirits, called Ogoh-ogoh. Unfortunately the parades were canceled due to covid-19.

The next day the Balinese cleverly stay silent for 24 hours, while the evil spirits get so bored with Bali that they leave the island for an entire year.

Looks like we’ll have to wait for one year in order to witness the next Ogoh-ogoh parade. By then you should be able to join us!

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