Day of Silence: Celebration of Caka New Year in Bali

THURSDAY of March 7, 2019, residents of Bali will commemorate the Caka New Year 1941. This holiday is known as Nyepi or Day of Silence derived from the word ‘nyepi’ (meaning silence, zero or neutral) as the beginning of each New Year in Bali.

Although starting the New Year with a quiet and tranquil situation, the day before on Wednesday (Mar. 6), the main roads in the cities throughout Bali are crowded with ceremonies called Ngerupuk.

The series of Nyepi celebration begins with the melasti procession, tawur or ngerupuk, amati geni / sipeng and ngembak geni. Melasti means to sweep away the impurities of nature by using the water of life. Segara (sea) is considered the source of Tirtha Amertha (Lord Ruci, churning of Mandaragiri). At the latest in the afternoon on the new moon, melasti must be completed in its entirety, and the sanctified effigies or pratima is brought back to Bale Agung.

Tawur is the purification of the bhuta kala that in the worship is manifested after being given tawur in order to be zero. After that, it is resumed with Ngerupuk as a continuation of the tawur implementation carried out in each house compound. Late at night, from their homes they take the main streets in the village and town.

Brata Penyepian

At the height of Caka New Year’s celebration, Balinese (Hindu) citizens implement by carrying out Berata Penyepian or abstinences, namely four things practiced to reach the zero condition. Firstly, amati geni is lighting no fire, turning no lamps to face the New Year. Secondly, amati karya is to stop working or all activities. Thirdly, amati lelungan is going nowhere; and fourthly, amati lelanguan is not enjoying any pleasure or entertainment. Everything applies from the time before sunrise (around 5:30 in the morning on March 7 until the next day).

Then, on Friday (Mar. 8), it is called the Ngembak Geni or Ngembak Api. On that day, people do self-purification by bathing on the beach and other water sources. Happy celebrating Nyepi Day in Bali!!!