How to survive Nyepi Day in Indonesia’s Bali

In most cities, New Year's Day is always linked with fireworks, parades and parties. But in Bali, a largely Hindu Indonesian island, people celebrate the Saka New Year as Bali's Day of Silence. It is a day of serenity, fasting and meditation for the Balinese.

Nyepi is a Balinese "Day of Silence" that is commemorated every Saka New Year according to the Balinese calendar. This year, Nyepi Day falls on March 7. The silence will begin at 6:00 am on Thursday and will last for the next 24 hours.

No activities are allowed to take place on Nyepi Day, which means no entertainment, no traffic, no fire and no working. Though it is primarily a Hindu holiday, non-Hindu residents and tourists are not exempt from the restrictions.

View of Bali, Indonesia./VCG Photo 

View of Bali, Indonesia./VCG Photo 

Due to the prohibitions, Bali's usually bustling streets become empty, and shops, as well as restaurants, remain closed all day. Cars and motorcycles are not allowed on the road; except for ambulances, police patrols and emergency vehicles. Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali is totally closed, and hotels are not able to accept any check-in nor check-out throughout the day.

For those who are keen on thrills and adventures, Bali may be boring on the Day of Silence. However, the 24 hours of Nyepi also means a natural day with fresh air and peaceful scenery. It can be one of the most unique experiences you can ever have in Bali.

The new moon offers a rare night sky with practically zero light pollution. You are in for the year's most immersive night sky over Bali when the stars shine their brightest and the Milky Way reveals itself.

Sunset of Bali, Indonesia./VCG Photo

Sunset of Bali, Indonesia./VCG Photo

Spas in a hotel can also be a good choice. Bali's Day of Silence is a perfect time to reflect, reconnect and truly unwind.

You can also stock up on snacks and food to spend the whole day watching videos in your hotel room. Your hotel's satellite channels will mostly remain available, including the Internet and Wi-Fi. Just don't forget to keep the sound at a minimum level.

(Cover: Balinese people attending Melasti ceremony, a purification festival held several days before "Nyepi." /VCG Photo)