If you visit Bali around the month of March, you will most likely be informed about Nyepi. You may hear some people complaining about things they cannot do during the Balinese Day of Silence. You cannot turn on the lights, should not be wandering around even in your own neighborhood, and all kinds of businesses are shutting down for at least 2 days. Maybe, it is even the first time you will hear that there’s a big international airport closed down for a whole day! You might be wondering: how will I eat? What if I need room service in my hotel? What if I get ill so bad and need to go to the hospital?

Now, before freaking out, let us have a look at the meaning of Nyepi, it’s effects on all people staying during Nyepi, and how to turn the limitations into something…well, less limited. In fact, quite a lot of people enjoy the peace during Nyepi, just like us Balithisweek crews. Read also Kathleen‘s Nyepi experience, as reflected in her article on Huffington Post.

First, please read the following citation from Wikipedia,

Nyepi, a public holiday in Indonesia, is a day of silence, fasting and meditation for the Balinese. The day following Nyepi is also celebrated as New Year’s Day. The same day celebrated in India as ugadi.

Observed from 6 a.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning, Nyepi is a day reserved for self-reflection, and as such, anything that might interfere with that purpose is restricted. The main restrictions are no lighting fires (and lights must be kept low); no working; no entertainment or pleasure; no traveling; and, for some, no talking or eating at all. The effect of these prohibitions is that Bali’s usually bustling streets and roads are empty, there is little or no noise from TVs and radios, and few signs of activity are seen even inside homes. The only people to be seen outdoors are the Pecalang, traditional security men who patrol the streets to ensure the prohibitions are being followed.

Although Nyepi is primarily a Hindu holiday, non-Hindu residents and tourists are not exempt from the restrictions. Although they are free to do as they wish inside their hotels, no one is allowed onto the beaches or streets, and the only airport in Bali remains closed for the entire day. The only exceptions granted are for emergency vehicles responding to life-threatening conditions and women about to give birth.

It does seem quite difficult to stay in Bali during Nyepi with all those limitations. But fear not, as we will presenting some Nyepi myth-busters as well as explain why you can casually stay.

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There are other perks of staying in Bali during Nyepi, that is you get to see various kinds of Ogoh-ogoh as they are paraded on the streets the day before Nyepi. Since Ogoh-ogoh parade is started in the afternoon and last up to 10 in the evening, you can be able to see the parade only if you are staying for Nyepi (unless you already book a flight ticket for that night, and provided the flight is not canceled / you don’t miss the flight).
For more insight and tips, you can read this post on Lonely Planet website.

Every year, more and more hotels and villas offer special Nyepi packages. If you do intend to stay in Bali during Nyepi, you can try searching only by typing “Nyepi package” on Google, and you will get a lot of options. Additionally, we also list some special Nyepi packages offered by our partners below.