Nyepi day just around the corner! One particular day in a year, you’re gonna see on the news that the Ngurah Rai Airport and other transport hubs are not open for business. Workshops, government offices, and schools are also closed and free from people except for the pecalangs, the Balinese adat police.

The Beginning of Caka Year

Nyepi is a Balinese ritual to embrace the new year of Caka, the traditional calendar which has been guiding the community for thousands of years. Tomorrow, March 25, 2020, the Balinese will welcome the year 1942. Yet, unlike many other new year’s eve celebrations with trumpets and fireworks, Nyepi is celebrated more solemnly.

Nyepi, the Silent Day

The Balinese celebrates the coming of the new year by staying in silence at their houses. For 24 hours, from 6am to 6am the next day, the Balinese will commit a rite called Tapa Brata Penyepian; they will not light the fire (amati geni), they will not do unspiritual physical works (amati karya), they don’t go anywhere (amati lelunganan), and they will fast (amati lelanguan).

For Self-Reflection

Practicing Tapa Brata Penyepian gives the Balinese a chance to do some self-reflection. It enables them to think about themselves and their relationship between humans and the environment. As she concludes her meditation, each Balinese will enter the new year as a new being, an enlightened being who knows exactly how she should live her lives.

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Although the Tapa Brata Penyepian is only practiced one day in a year, the impact is not at all small. During and the day after Nyepi, the air of Bali becomes free from pollutants, as no single machine vehicles are zooming on the Balinese roads or flying over the Balinese sky for 24 hours. It gives the earth a break, it gives back the balance to our world, it gives us a chance to contemplate, it gives the time chance to wash away all things that make us suffer.

Join us from wherever you are. Let’s #nyepifortheworld.

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