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Directory Home> Bali Art and Culture> Nyepi
 
NYEPI "QUIET / SILENCE" DAY - BALINESE NEW YEAR "TAHUN CAKA"
 
New -Year's day is perhaps the oddest day in Bali. On this day, throughout the island, silence is observed and inactivity reigns supreme. Also called Nyepi Day, the Balinese Day of Silence, New Year's day falls on the day following the dark moon of the spring equinox, and opens a new year of the Saka Hindu era which began in 78 A.D.

On Nyepi day, which starts with sunrise, do not expect to be able to do anything. You will have to stay in your hotel. No traffic is allowed, not only of cars, but also of people, who have to stay in their individual houses. Light is kept to a minimum, radio tuned down, and no one works, of course. Even love making, this ultimate activity of all leisure-timers, is not supposed to take place, nor even attempted.

The whole day is simply filled with the barking of a few dogs, the shrill of insects and simple long, long quiet day in the calendar of this hectic island. Nyepi is a religious event. In a Hindu society like Bali, one believes in the karmapala principle, according to which the dynamics of life and of Man's individual fate is set in motion by "action". Man is in the midst of a Samsara cycle of incarnations, each of which is determined by the quality of his actions (karma) in his former existence. His "ideal" is thus to put the system to rest, i.e., to control one's actions, and thus to subdue one's "demons". Only in such a way can man hope to achieve "deliverance" from his cycles of life (moksa) and eventually merge with the Oneness of the Void, the Ultimate Silence of Sunya.
 
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