No flights or internet during Bali’s sacred Day of Silence

Bali’s day of silence: Airport closes, internet shuts down and streets to empty as Hindu island marks its New Year

  • Bali’s airport will close for 24 hours, the internet will be turned off and streets emptied to mark New Year
  • The Day of Silence, Nyepi to the Balinese, is a day of reflection and TV and radio broadcasts also stop
  • The night before Nyepi is celebrated with noisy ‘ogoh-ogoh’ processions and parades of ‘evil spirits

Bali’s airport will close for 24 hours, the internet will be turned off and streets emptied as the predominantly Hindu island in Indonesia observes its New Year with an annual day of silence.

‘Nyepi’ begins at 6am tomorrow, clearing beaches and all public spaces of people except for special patrols to ensure silence is observed. For the second year, phone companies will turn off the mobile internet on the island, home to more than four million people.

Balinese will stay indoors, covering windows and keeping lights off for the day of reflection that is the most sacred in Balinese Hinduism.

Noise before the silence: Balinese people perform during the Ogoh-Ogoh effigy parade ahead of the ‘Day of Silence’ in Denpasar on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali

Tradition: The predominantly Hindu island of Bali in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-populated nation, will celebrate the ‘Day of Silence’, locally known as Nyepi, on March 7

Celebrations: A Balinese woman performs during the Ogoh-Ogoh effigy parade ahead of the ‘Day of Silence’ in Denpasar on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali

‘A day of silence to mark Saka (Balinese calendar) New Year for us Balinese Hindus is an opportunity to restart life with a pure heart,’ said Wayan Gota, a hotel manager in Kuta, one of the island’s tourist hotspots.


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‘For me, through the ritual of observing thoughts while meditating on Nyepi, in essence I get the opportunity to evaluate my achievements for the past year and rearrange the plan of life for the next year,’ he said.

The night before Nyepi is celebrated with noisy ‘ogoh-ogoh’ processions of giant scary figures symbolizing evil spirits. During Nyepi, any tourists on the island have to stay in their hotels. TV and radio broadcasts also stop.

In past years, tourists, both foreign and Indonesian, have been arrested for wandering around Kuta during Nyepi. 

Hindu devotees participate in a traditional activity known locally as ‘Perang Api’ or fire war one day ahead of Nyepi in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara 

Balinese people sit in front of a giant effigy locally known as ‘ogoh-ogoh’ that represents evil spirits to celebrate Nyepi

Balinese Hindu girls take a brief before they perfom Rejang Dewa dance during a ritual before the holy day of Nyepi

Balinese people carry an Ogoh-Ogoh effigy during a parade ahead of the ‘Day of Silence’ in Denpasar on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali 

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