On Holiday in Bali When Nyepi, Where to Go?
The celebration of Balinese new year or well known as “Nyepi” this year falls on March 31, 2014. If you are on holiday in Bali when Nyepi, take advantage of the moment to visit certain places where Balinese doing some unique rituals for Nyepi.
Two days before Nyepi, most of Hindus in Bali held “Melasti” ceremony. It is dedicated to Sanghyang Widhi Wasa. The ritual is performed in Pura (Balinese temple) near the sea (Pura Segara) and meant to purify Arca, Pratima, and Pralingga (sacred objects) belonging to several temples, also to acquire sacred water from the sea.
On the ceremony, people carry offering means to the sea. Various means will paraded from the temple to the beach. In southern part of Bali, one popular beach that can be visited to see this procession is Sanur beach. On the east side of the island, you can stop by Klotok beach in Klungkung or Candidasa in Karangasem.
The next day is “Tawur Kesanga” or “mecaru” at noon and “Ngerupuk” or identical with Ogoh – ogoh parade or a giant creepy doll shaped in the afternoon. Ogoh – ogoh is made of pulp paper and bamboo frame. The size is great and should be carried by many people. Ogoh-ogoh are usually paraded around the village starting from the “Banjar” then going around. Over the year, ogoh-ogoh become more creative by young people. So there are various models of ogoh – ogoh. In Kuta there is usually some sort of ogoh-ogoh festival which is followed by a lot of ogoh-ogoh.
Unfortunately, there would be no Ogoh-ogoh festival due to coincided with 2014 election campaign period, this is to keep religious ritual from political issues. However, each “Banjar” still held the ogoh-ogoh parade.
When Nyepi, the atmosphere is so quiet and magical. So it fits into a moment of self-reflection through yoga and meditation. Ubud is identical with spiritual destination in Bali. Some hotels provide yoga or meditation class when Nyepi. To get more silence feeling, please stay in the hotels nearby Ayung River in Ubud which is still beautiful and full of trees.
After Nyepi is Ngembak Geni. It’s time for Hindus to visit their family. In Sesetan village located in Denpasar has a unique tradition on Ngembak Geni. This ritual is only exist in Sesetan which is called “Omed-omedan”. The youth are kissing their friend. This procession was so crowded and boisterous. Local residents saw it as a sacred ritual that has been run for generations.