Tomorrow is the Balinese New Year, following a Hindu holiday especially celebrated in Bali known as “Nyepi” or “Day of Silence”. Yes, today is one of the days which I found very inspiring. This is the day that I wish we had more among 365 days given in a year. To stay in silence, be quiet, accomplishing self-reflection through meditation.
During this time, Bali is very quiet. The roads are empty, there is almost no noise from either TV or radio, and some people are not even talking. Although Nyepi is originally a Hindu holiday, the non-Hindu residents of Bali show respect by obeying the prohibitions as well. Tourists should also stay in their hotels and not allowed to be out on the streets nor beaches. The airport is closed the entire day.
Nyepi rituals consist of several activities which we can briefly learn from Wikipedia. Here I will share several prohibitions as part of the ritual:
Amati Geni: no fire or light, including no electricity. Amati Karya: no working. Amati Lelunganan: no traveling. Amati Lelanguan: fasting and no revelry/self-entertainment
The rituals started at 6 AM until 6 AM the next day. 24 hours. On the day after Nyepi, known as Ngembak Geni or Ngembak Agni, all Hindus will gather with families and friends and perform a ritual of forgiving each other and welcoming the new days to come.
Folks celebrate New Year differently, I might say. The Christian New Year is celebrated through a gigantic party with fireworks. It is important to be with your loved ones and have a New Year kiss on midnight. Muslim New Year is celebrated by congregation prayer as a symbol of starting a new book of deeds as well as a moment of introspection. Chinese New Year is mostly about forecast or prophecy; what year is it now and how is the fortune this year. Meanwhile, this Balinese New Year is celebrated through a moment of silence.
So, no matter who you are and what you are, would you mind spending a moment of silence today? Or perhaps a few hours? Or a few minutes? And then… see what happen.