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This year I was blessed to experience my first Nyepi here in Bali. Nyepi is Bali’s New Year and is mainly celebrated here in Bali. The way in which they say good-bye to the old year and welcome the new year and the new energy it brings is quite a special tradition to witness.

The week leading up to Nyepi and the certain rituals the Hindus follow as it is primarily the Hindus holiday, is a very eventful week. It involves ceremonies which include prayer, silence, fasting, meditation, no entertainment and no travel. And no one is excluded from this holiday whether you are a tourist, not Hindu or not a local, everyone has to follow the rules.

The sequence of rituals are as follows:

1.The Melasti Ritual:

This ritual normally takes place 3-4 days prior to Nyepi. This ritual is performed through the streets of Bali on foot as they all make their way to the temples near the ocean. This is to purify sacred objects belonging to several temples from and around Bali. They also acquire “sacred water” from the sea.

2. The Bhuta Yajna Ritual:

The next ritual performed is the Bhuta Yajna Ritual. This is a ritual performed to terminate all negative elements and energies which have found their way onto the island. It is a ritual performed to cleanse the island of all negativity and try and restore balance between GOD, Mankind and Nature.

This ritual is performed by offerings of live animal sacrifice followed by noisy banging of pots and pans and  bamboo tubes as well as the burning of dried coconut leaf torches to help drive away any demons.

Another form of this ritual is the famous Ogoh-Ogoh. Ogoh-ogoh’s are massive statues designed by the locals, which are made out of styrofoam, painted bamboo, cloth and tinsel. They often portray malevolent spirits from Hindu mythology says Wikipedia.

Once they have been paraded around the streets of Bali and shown off to other villages, the locals makes their way to either cemeteries or beaches where the ogoh-ogoh’s are burnt and the final stage of this ritual is completed.

3. The Nyepi Ritual:

The Nyepi Ritual consist of the following steps which every single person on the islands has to abide to, whether you are a tourist, Hindu or not Hindu – the rules apply to everyone:

Amati Geni: No Fire, light or electricity.

Amati Karya: No working

Amati Lelunganan:: No Traveling

Amati Lelanguan: No self entertainment

4. Yoga/Brata Ritual:

This part of Nyepi is performed by the Balinese locals which are of Hindu Faith. They spend 24hours in meditation. From 6am-6am the following morning.

5. The Ngembak Agni/ Labuh Brata Ritual:

This is now the official Balinese New Year. You will find that the Balinese Hindus will go and visit their families, friends, neighbors and loved ones where they will ask each other for forgiveness and welcome the new days and energy of the new year in together.

6. Dharma Shanti:

This is the final ritual, and signifies the closure of Nyepi and the very sacred week.

In Closing:

This is definitely an experience I will treasure forever, and believe that a lot of places around the world should adopt this tradition. We are all so caught up in our day to day lives we often don’t take time to reflect on what has happened and what is happening.

It is an amazing feeling to step away from technology and actually look around and appreciate your surroundings instead of scrolling through Facebook and Instagram.

I will also say the energy and vibration after the Nyepi week is so much lighter and higher, you can definitely feel a difference and shift on the island.

Happy Nyepi Day everyone!!!

(source: https//en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/nyepi.)

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