Nyepi, Bali’s Silent New Year
In Bali, Indonesia, the Saka New Year—which this year falls on March 12—is observed by a day of silence, meditation and fasting known as Nyepi.
The holiday, while rooted in Hinduism, is observed throughout Bali province. All activities that might interfere with self-reflection are halted, including work, travel, entertaining and, for the most devout, eating and talking.
On the eve of Nyepi, negative spirits are vanquished through the Bhuta Yajna ritual. During this ritual, Ogoh-ogoh—large demonic figures constructed of bamboo and paper—are paraded through the streets and then ceremonially burned. Once purified of humans’ spiritual pollutants, the city is prepared for its day of silent reflection.