3 Things to Do Before the Day of Silence

The day of silence, or Nyepi in local’s mother tongue is the one holy day for Balinese Hindu where they practice catur brata which included amati geni, amati karya, amati lelungan, and amati lelanguan. The whole island of Bali will be ‘dead’ for the day, no electricity and no activity at all. The only people who roam the street are pecalang or the traditional army, making sure that no one breaks the catur brata.

Ogoh-ogoh – Photo by Iluh Niti

For some people, the day of silence is a blissful and once in a lifetime moment they look forward to have. If you are one of them who flock the island during the holy day just to experience this unique day, we brought you the top three things to do before the Nyepi day, to get you ready and prepared.

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  1. Ogoh Ogoh Parade

Before Bali shuts down and people practice the catur brata, they go out one last time parading, the noise and commotion is amplified by a thousand.  It must be a tradition to get out all your energy before you have a full day of reflection and quiet.  The final ceremony to take place before Nyepi is called, Ogoh Ogoh, a pure magical artistic design. Young men from each village build these scary Ogoh-Ogohs.  Hand painted and meticulously designed, these sculptures are more than just parade floats. The fierce monsters are bloody and outrageous. They are demons. They are beautiful. Their presenters are strong men, boys even, who carry these massive floats by hand. There are 20 or more boys for each float. The men lift the float over their shoulders and start to run towards the crowded intersection.

Ogoh-ogoh Parade – Photo by Iluh Niti

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2. Stock on the food

Since no restaurants and no shops will be open on the Nyepi day, people start stocking on food supply one week before the day. The closer it gets to Nyepi, the more hectic and crowded the shops are. Since cooking is practically forbidden and part of amati geni, it will be better if you stock on the instant food that requires minimum cooking, or just prepare the food the day before and pop it into the fridge. One day before the Nyepi dan one day after many restaurants are closed, so those that open will be swarmed by locals and tourists. But if you are staying in a hotel or resorts, the restaurants will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner during the Nyepi day.

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3. Have entertainment ready

Have your reading list ready if you are a bookworm who enjoy reading a book to pass the Nyepi day. If you are one for movie buffs, than buy your stock of DVDs or download your favorite series and binge on them during the Nyepi day.