The first time I heard about Nyepi Day, I was talking to a manager in the office. He was explaining how the Hindu use 3 different calanders to plan ceremonies.
Nyepi Day. Silent Day. 24 Hours of total silence. The Hindu New Year, starts with one day of silence. The manager explained that nobody is allowed on the streets, shops are closed, even the airport and harbor are closed. The whole Island shuts down. A few security men walk the streets to make sure everybody sticks to the rules. At night time no lights are allowed and then there is total silence. No motorbikes, cars or trucks, working is not allowed. You must be kidding me!
He wasn’t. It was as good as I imagined, if not better. It was amazing how a whole Island shuts down and the world seems to stand still. During the day, you could hear the waves beating down on the beach in stead of the motorbike and car noises. The night brought amazing stars and even some lightning. This is the way a New Year is supposed to start, a full day of mandatory rest. If Bali can do it, why not the whole world?!
The night before Nyepi, processions with huge Ogoh-Ogohs are held. These processions are held all over Bali, to wake up all the evil spirits. The Ogoh-Ogohs are carried around the streets, ending at the beach. At each intersection they are rotated to make sure the evil spirits can’t find their way back. I went to the procession in Legian/Kuta. After a little wait it finally started and I was blown away. The combination of the huge Ogoh-Ogohs, the music, the yelling and all the people gave me goosebumps. What an amazing culture this is..
At the end of the big happening, we started walking back home and found Jalan Legian empty of cars and motorbikes. During a normal day this is a busy street and crossing it takes some skills and courage.
So here we were, walking in the middle of the road.