Nyepi is a day for quiet self reflection. This doesn’t mean peacefully staring at yourself in the mirror for the 24 hours of lock-down, rather an opportunity to go within (and kinda without) and give some consideration to how you might go forth to prosper this next Balinese calendar. Anything that interferes with this purpose is strictly forbidden, which includes work, physical activities and general fun-having.
Since there are varying degrees to which people recognise the day of Nyepi, some will fast & meditate, while others will challenge the Pecalang (security patrol men) with a game of chicken – we thought we’d cut through the confusion bring you Canggu’s official Hipster’s Guide to Surviving Nyepi.
Let’s get started by stipulating the four rules (called Catur Brata Penyepian) of Nyepi;
1. NO TRAVELING (AMATI LELUNGAN)
2. NO FIRE OR LIGHTS (AMATI GENI)
3. NO WORK OR PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES (AMATI KARYA)
4. NO HAVING FUN/MAKING NOISE (AMATI LELANGUAN)
Now, the Pecalang are patrolling the streets to firmly police that there are no breakouts, so the no traveling rule is to be strictly adhered to. Can’t stress enough; STAY IN YOUR ROOM. That means no pool time too you little rebel.
The other rules are to be interpreted as you will within the privacy of your own four walls, but may we suggest embracing this unique opportunity to power down your life for a day of blissful nothingness.
Now, what to expect..
On the day before Nyepi, you will notice the island literally starts to power down from midday. Shops close a little earlier to prepare for the Nyepi Eve celebrations, and to allow staff to travel home to their village. If you haven’t stockpiled already, don’t fret – the giant Popular Deli will be open until 11pm for all of your non-conscious consumerism haul needs. Resist the Nutella & Oreo protests, we don’t have time for that today. Would you like a 10,000Rp reusable shopping bag with your guilt-trip? Good. All set.
From around 6pm, be sure to observe the Ogoh-Ogoh statues being carried through the streets of Canggu. The procession from each Banjar will later meet at the crossroads of Jl. Raya Munggu (By-pass Tanah Lot), Jl. Pantai Seseh for a parade. The crowds are huge, so be prepared that you will be parking your bikes near Pererenan and walking. If you’re thinking of driving a car, think again. If you are a grumpy Gu-ster.. try the Batu Bolong mini-parade instead.
Make as much noise as possible that night! This is done to frighten away evil spirits. Jump on your custom-whatever and make it roar. This will be the only night we won’t hate you for it.
Be back in your villa, hotel or guest house by six the next morning. Mandatory. No ifs buts or Tinder dates. Go home!
Now, the quiet day of Nyepi starts.
Catch some sleep. Do not engage in intimate contact. It’s forbidden on Nyepi. If your partner crawled in at 5.59am we are guessing this won’t be a problem for you.
Don’t put the kettle on to make coffee when you wake, for lighting fires is banned. Even if your kitchen has equipment, don’t use it. Rethink the IndoMie, and perhaps order in some health snacks.
The whole “no cooking with gas” thing also makes Nyepi a great day to juice cleanse, or start experimenting with a raw food diet. Bali Buda delivers until 4pm Nyepi-Eve for all your new-found raw food obsession supplies. Save me some.
Put away that dead trendy Jenja stack you-hipster-you, for laughing and excitement are not for today. Try your hand at knitting a crochet bikini, creating your own coffee body scrub range, or maybe tending to that moss and baby cactus bio dome you’ve been cultivating.
Social activities will be replaced with book reading, but be careful which you pick, for if it feels fun – it’s out of bounds. Wrap up your reading before nightfall. All lights that can be seen from outside are strictly forbidden and yes, this means candles too. This whole day is about tricking away the evil spirits, and you don’t want to be the guy who gave away the gag.
All jokes aside, Nyepi is our most favourite Balinese tradition.. may you all have a peaceful, beautiful Silent Day.