I think some of you already know that March 25th is Nyepi Day. On this sacred day, Hindus will do a Catur Brata Penyepian or four abstinence, i.e. Amati Karya (no working), Amati Lelungan (no traveling), Amati Geni (no fire or light), and Amati Lelanguan (no having fun).
Nyepi in Bali has its impression for tourists. The streets will be quiet, and at night it will be pitch dark because there is no light. Usually, before celebrating Nyepi there will be some traditional activities that you can enjoy. For example Melasti activities and Ogoh-ogoh parade activities.
Ogoh Ogoh Parade is highly expected by the Balinese themselves and tourists. Ogoh-Ogoh is a giant puppet with a devil’s face and represents the Bhuta Kala or negative element symbol. The Ogoh-Ogoh parade starts from evening till tonight on the streets around Bali. Some shops, restaurants and streets will also be closed when this parade takes place.
Unfortunately this year you might not see the Ogoh Ogoh Parade because of recent worries about the COVID-19 outbreak in Indonesia. The Government of the Republic of Indonesia has implemented measures to minimize the risk of a pandemic from further spread. One of them is suggested people make social distancing. The Indonesian government recommends people to do social distancing is basically a call to stay away from others. Experts believe that coronaviruses spread through droplets, so limiting exposure to others is a good way to protect yourself.
If you still want to see Ogoh-Ogoh, then you can try to find it at Bale Banjar. The place where Ogoh-Ogoh was made. And also don’t forget to use a mask when in a crowd and when you are coughing or catching a cold.
On Nyepi Day, not only local people will celebrate Nyepi. The Tourist also has to do it. You can’t be traveling and having fun during Nyepi Day in Bali. You are prohibited from leaving the hotel during Nyepi, but you are still allowed to walk and do activities in the hotel environment. In addition, you can also listen to music or watch television at the hotel. What should be remembered is not to make a noise when doing the activities to honor the community who are doing Nyepi’s Tapa Brata.
This will certainly be felt for you if this is your first time to celebrate Nyepi in Bali. To overcome the boredom, the hotel where you stay usually provides the Nyepi package. Their packages include classes yoga, swimming, or spa.
During Nyepi, all shops and restaurants are closed. If the hotel where you stay does not have a package for breakfast, lunch, and dinner there is nothing wrong to prepare food, snacks, and drugs the day before Nyepi. Usually, some supermarkets also hold special promo to welcoming Nyepi day.
The atmosphere of the night when Nyepi is the most awaited by everyone in Bali. Due to the prohibition of turning on the lights during Nyepi, the sky in Bali will be dark so you can see the sky which is studded with stars with the naked eye. The air in Bali will also be cooler and pollution-free because during the day no vehicles are passing on the streets.
If you are feeling not well and need treatment from a doctor, please immediately report to your Hotel staff, so they can call the nearest hospital. An ambulance will pick you up later. Ambulances and certain avenues still allowed to operate during Nyepi for emergencies.
Don’t worry, Nyepi only held during 24 hours. From 25th 06.00 am until the next day on March 26th at 06.00 am. After that, all activities will be returned to normal.