If the world in general celebrates 1st Jan as the 'official' New Year, the Chinese have "Imlek" or "Lunar New Year", the Muslims celebrate 1st of Muharram, the Balinese Hindus welcome the New Year of their Saka calendar with "Nyepi", probably the most important day of their already packed calendar.
The Balinese Hindus will celebrate "Pengerupukan" 1 day before the actual Nyepi day (9th March this year) where they will have a glorious parade all along the streets or their villages holding fire torches and vigorously playing the 'kulkul' or traditional bamboo instruments. It will be of course be followed by the famous procession of the "Ogoh-Ogoh" statues which are Balinese giant paper puppets, more often than not, crafted to represent scary images of demons, ghosts and the Devil alike. These 'evil' looking statues will then be torched to symbolise the cleansing of everything evil in life and welcoming a clean, brand new year, full of possibilities.
Nyepi will mean that everyone on the island, including guests and non-Hindus alike, will have to respect the laws and rules laid out and this means all vehicles and pedestrians are barred from going out onto the streets, unless of course in extreme emergencies. This of course is enforced by the very strong presence of 'Pecalangs' who are always actively on duty during this 24 hour period between 6am till 6 am the next day. This allows the people to have an introspect and have a full day of self-reflection, meditation and all done in silence on this auspicious day.
Now this doesn't sound too bad if you're stuck in an awesome hotel with full facilities and yummy food to keep and your loved ones company right? Doesn't hurt anyone to enjoy life and seems like the perfect way to stay in and indulge in life with your family and friends! Lets take a look at our top 5 picks to get stuck for Nyepi this year!
The perfect location to catch the Ogoh-Ogoh festival at the nearby Padang Tegal Village then enjoying the full 'kampung' or 'desa' experience by waking up to amazing, peaceful views of the open rice field on Nyepi itself. Alaya’s Nyepi package includes daily breakfast, 1 hour Balinese massage for two, set menu dinner at Petani and a Nasi Raja lunch.
Take your special partner for a 2 night stay package of their Deluxe Garden View Room, with breakfast and also one free lunch during Nyepi included. Also enjoy 20% off all food and drinks and also 30% off all spa treatments! The perfect getaway for anyone wanting some quiet, peace time during Nyepi with an awesome full on seaview!
Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay is definitely perfect for a total private escape during Nyepi. Being stuck inside your own private villa and having your own quiet time is definitely ideal and to take advantage of the fact Nyepi falls on the same day as a total solar eclipse, they have organised a special Eclipse Yoga in the new Nirvana Shanti Yoga Bali. Picture a 90-minute yoga session in darkness and silence surrounded in nature's breath and voices of the waves crashing. Their Nyepi stay package also includes daily breakfast, a 3-course set lunch, 3-course set dinner and more.
If you’re looking for the perfect view of a completely deserted Kuta Beach, Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort is a definite choice for you. Catering for families, they have special packages for 2 adults with 2 children (Simply Nyepi or Nyepi Stay and Dine) and will be setting up their ballrooms as big cinemas, split by age group. With 2 restaurants (Bene and Feast), a gym, pool, ‘Play’ for the kids, and Shine Spa, Sheraton offers a great choice for you to consider this Nyepi.
Nestled peacefully on the great cliffs of Nusa Dua, the Grand Nikko Bali provides you with a picturesque view of the great sea. With 8 food and beverage outlets, interconected pools, a complete spa and fitness and of course the popuar Jungle Camp Kids Club for the kids to get occupied. With so many programmes in store, this proves to be a good choice for families to consider as a getaway trip this Nyepi.