Nyepi on Nusa Lembongan

Nyepi or Balinese Day of Silence is a New Year celebration across all of Bali when all of the island’s inhabitants abide by a set of rules which brings all routine activities to a halt.

Nyepi comes from the Balinese word “sepi” or silent in English and is honored with 24 hours of Silence from sunrise (6 am) to sunrise (6 am) the following day. This significant date is based on the Hindu Calendar – prayers and offerings are presented to the Gods to cleanse and rid the world of evil spirits and negativity, and blessings for a positive start to the new year.

Since self-reflection is at the core of Nyepi, the best way to achieve this is to have no distractions, hence the silence. Essentially this means no work, no lights or fires, no entertainment and no travel resulting in no one leaving their home, or for a tourist, their hotel or villa grounds. TV stations, Mobile, Internet, Wifi Services are also shut down. Ngurah Rai Airport Bali in also closes for the 24 hours during Nyepi.  In case of emergencies, the Pecelang ( senior members of the temple ) are allowed to patrol the streets and can give assistance to anyone in need.

– Nyepi- short history –

The ritual ceremonies performed during the 8 days of Nyepi aim to subdue the evil forces in order to create a healthy balance between God, mankind and nature. The best time to rid the earth of all this negativity is around sunset. So after blessings at the family temple, each member of the household chases away these evil forces from their compound accompanied by a deafening sound made up of pots, pans, the kulkul (traditional bamboo bell), drums, along with a bamboo torch engulfed in flame.

– Nyepi – Ceremony on Nusa Lembongan –

One of the most colourful and lively events of the Balinese calendar year happens the night before Nyepi Day which is called Ogoh Ogoh. The evil forces are manifested into huge statues in the form of unearthly demonic creatures “Ogoh-Ogoh” .

In the  months leading up to Nyepi, each of the islands  community groups  create these elaborately decorated creatures .They are then secured to bamboo frames in a criss-cross pattern, the men from each village then hoist the frame and statue up on to their shoulders and parade it up and down the village main street –  often they will run and jump with them and raise them up above their heads shaking them – bringing “life” to the monster. stopping along the way to what appears to be a fight by rotating  counterclockwise three times to confuse the evil spirits . This parade of monsters combined with the beautiful candle light torches which the village children carry is believed to scare away the evil spirits. 

The ultimate finale, the Ogoh-Ogoh are set on fire, forcing the demons or evil spirits from the earth. This is called the Ngrupuk ritual and is a symbol of self-purification.

The ritual of the  “day of silence ” is the belief that  the evil spirits do not know where to come back to as there is no sign or sound of life in the villages and therefore leave ensuring peace and harmony for the new year.

NYEPI ON NUSA LEMBONGAN AND BALI (3) Bhuta Yajna Ritual 3 - @353DEGREESNORTH

– Nyepi – 353 Degrees North-Nusa Lembongan –

Nyepi is a day of rest and reflection with family and asking for blessings and good fortune for loved ones and the new year ahead.

Here at 353 Degrees North we have our own generator so guests can still enjoy this day of silence and reflection in comfort. You also don’t need to stay indoors as the pool area and garden are completely private – but you will have to stay on the property.

I have had the pleasure to be a part of several Nyepi ceremony celebrations on Nusa Lembongan, and while some people are hesitant to holiday in Bali or Nusa Lembongan during this time , however,  to experience the stillness and silence from the comfort of the villa grounds is a truly magical experience and for me it’s one day… one day where you turn everything off, be still, be silent and just be.

It’s a holiday memory that will stay with you forever and we’d love you to experience with us at 353 Degrees North.

Nyepi- Day Of silence
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