Nyepi in Bali

Mar 5th, 2008, in News, by

Commercialisation of the Hindu festival of Nyepi in Bali and how Muslims should behave during it.

Nyepi, the Balinese “Day of Silence”, which falls this year on March 7th, marking Bali’s Lunar New Year (Tahun Baru Saka 1930), is a day meant to be reserved for quiet, very quiet, self-reflection, and anything that might spoil attempts at such reflection, such as the lighting of fires, working, entertainment, travelling in vehicles, and even for some talking, is strictly forbidden.


Many starred Bali hotels are said to have offered special Nyepi attractions, where they hope to be able to escort guests around the streets in vehicles, to take in the “atmosphere” of Nyepi.

A government spokesman, Nyoman Puasa Aryana, however says hotels have no dispensations, that only ambulances and fire engines may be allowed to operate on the day. Hotel owners should learn from past mistakes: beritabali

A few years ago a tourist vehicle got attacked by a mob during Nyepi.

Bali Tourism Board head, Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya, said any hotels that encouraged their guests to drive around town were insulting the holiness of the day and the people who observe it. beritabali

A housewife in Ubud, Kadek Sri Hariyani, said she had once seen a family of tourists drive by her house on Nyepi and this was proof that hotels had commercialised the holy day, and she was upset about it. beritabali


A lot of news agencies and television stations have asked for permission to cover Nyepi. A village head in Pakraman, Denpasar, Anak Agung Arnawa, said it started two months ago, and he was deluged with requests from media companies to set up facilities in his village. beritabali

Anak Agung Arnawa said most of the companies were local, however some international agencies, such as CNN, also want to film during Nyepi. Gede Nurjaya, of the Tourism Office, says he has already rejected three such requests, one from CNN and two others from Korea and Taiwan.

We already wrote back to them and said “no”.

However he said filming in some places, like from hotel grounds, was allowed. beritabali


Nyepi this year falls on a Friday, the most important day of Muslim prayer, and the roughly 5% of the population who are Muslims are being instructed by the MUI (Majelis Ulama Indonesia) to only visit a mosque that is nearby their homes, and go there on foot, and not to use the mosque’s loudspeaker for the call to prayer.

Muslims have to respect Hindus observing Nyepi.

Says MUI Bali chief Hasan Ali. beritabali

33 Comments on “Nyepi in Bali”

  1. Ktut Asmara says:

    For Christians, I worship the false God because they believe that my devas are satans. What is the between God Shiva and Jahweh ? Please don’t call me idol worship, don’t you worship cross ?

  2. Allen Pusch says:

    My wife and I visited Bali in March 2008 and witnessed the nyepi observations. We are considering visiting Bali again in 2009. On what date will nyepi fall in 2009?

  3. Ano says:

    From what I have read it should be on the 26th March 2009.

    Will get next years Bali calendar soon and confirm it..

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