NYEPI – The Balinese New Year and a time to reflect in silence.
By Yasmin Ririhena and Sarah Dougherty.
Nyepi, also known as Bali’s day of silence, is the beginning of the Balinese New Year. This year it almost feels as though Nyepi has come early, with many self isolating, or the new norm: social distancing. It is reassuring to many that Bali does a huge spiritual cleanse at this time of year, it feels like we all need it right now. Unlike the partying and fireworks that are common during Western New Year’s celebrations, the whole island of Bali goes completely quiet.
Nyepi is a day of silence, reflection and meditation. For many of us living in Bali, it is a time when we retreat to hotels and resorts. At present, with cancellations being felt everywhere, the island’s hotels and resorts are the perfect place to savour the silence.
Before the Nyepi lockdown on March 25 one of the world’s most unusual parades sees huge papier-mache effigies, the ‘Ogoh-Ogoh’ carried down the streets of most Bali villages. This year will be a lot different as crowds are discouraged and the ‘monsters’ will stay close to home. The theory is that the spirits need to be awakened and scared away before the island goes quiet. Everyone from the youngest to the eldest members of the community are busy in the weeks leading up to Nyepi, preparing the Ogoh-Ogoh, making offerings and cleansing their homes and the island. It’s an amazing time to be in Bali and for the Balinese it is a time of great significance.
Several days before Nyepi the spectacular Melasti ceremony is held at all Bali’s leading temples. The Balinese dress in white and prepare spectacular offerings. The island is cleansed as the processions head to the rivers and the sea to lay their offerings.
The Balinese Hindus stay inside from sunrise to the following sunrise to honour their traditions and ‘festivities’ for the day, but tourists, expats and those of other religions use Hari Raya Nyepi as the perfect opportunity for a staycation. Multiple hotels across Bali, and across neighbouring islands, have created packages especially for those who want to experience Hari Raya Nyepi without giving up the comfort and luxury they are used to. This year with all hotels and villas taking extra precautions, it’s a time to isolate in comfort. Here are our picks, enjoy the blessings of being in Bali at this very special time of year.
Fairfield – Luxury on a Budget.
When: Check in on 24th of march and check out on 26th of march 2020
What: Escape and explore the solemnity of silence in the centre of things. Fairfield by Marriott in Kuta is offering a special room package including breakfast and a buffet dinner for two people on 25 March 2020.
How much: packages available from from IDR 780,000
Hard Rock Hotel – Turn down the volume for a day.
When: Wednesday 25th of march 2020
What: Experience the magical celebration of Saka New Year in Hard Rock style. Watch the Ogoh-Ogoh Parade, Melasti Ceremony and all the Kuta Beach festivities. Ring in the Saka New Year 1942 with a range of exciting activities specially prepared for Hard Rock Hotel Bali guests.
How much: minimum two nights stay applies.
- Daily buffet breakfast for 2 adults and 2 children under 16 years old at Starz Diner or a la carte breakfast at Rock Royalty (for Deluxe Premium Pool Access and Suite level guests).
- One time buffet lunch for 2 adults and 2 children under 12 years, valued at IDR. 430,000 net
- 2 Rock Spa discount vouchers for body treatments valued at IDR. 100,000 net each (terms & conditions apply).
Hard Rock Hotel Kuta Bali
Kanvaz – Stay, sleep & silence
When: Wednesday 24th of March until 26th of March
What: Embrace the serenity of the Balinese New Year at Kanvaz Resort Seminyak.
On March 25th, 2020, the celebration of Nyepi is a perfect time for self-reflection, to throw away the negativity and start the New Year with positivity and enthusiasm for the future. Mandatory religious prohibitions include no work, no travel, and no entertainment. All lights and sounds are to be turned off, and no one is permitted to leave their home.
Kanvaz Resort Seminyak welcomes you to commemorate the Day of Silence. The Nyepi Package includes daily breakfast for two. The Terrace is open until 7 pm, with 24-hour room service available, and the Elemental Spa & Wellness is available until 10 pm.
How much: starts from IDR 3.218.000 nett / 3 days, 2 nights
The Seminyak – Silent day Package
When: Check in on 24th of March and check out on 26th of March 2020
What: Nyepi or Silent day is a perfect time for introspection. Embrace this moment of serenity with The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa. You get a two night stay in a beach room, daily breakfast and afternoon tea and a special Balinese buffet on 25th march for 2 persons.
The Seminyak invites you to experience the peaceful rhythm of silence by joining their Sunset Meditation on Wednesday, 25th March 2020 6:15 pm – 7:30 pm, for IDR 100,000++ per person including refreshment.
How much: The package starts from IDR 5,200,000
Tugu – Nyepi retreat
When: 24th of March until 26th of March
What: Immerse in pure relaxation and experience the Balinese New Year, a 24-hour period of complete silence and tranquility in the spiritually atmospheric Hotel Tugu Bali. They invite you to arrive a few days before to join the beautifully spiritual Melasti cleansing ceremony at the sacred Batu Bolong temple in front of the hotel and to witness the famous Ogoh-Ogoh parade.
How much:Rate includes daily breakfast, high-tea with local delicacies, an inclusive yoga class and one-hour spa treatment for two for 1.950.000 IDR
Plataran – Serene getaway
When: March 20th to March 28th
What: Celebrate the silence with Plataran’s special package at their beautiful riverside resort set among amazing tropical gardens. Enjoy a two night stay in a one-bedroom pool villa, daily breakfast and afternoon tea. Also included in the package is a 60-minute massage in their atmospheric spa.
How much: IDR 6,500,000++ for 2 persons
For reservations: email [email protected]
Seres – The essence of Nyepi
When: 24th of March 2020 until 26th of March
What: Experience the Essence of Nyepi and celebrate the Hindu New Year at SereS Springs Resort & Spa. This package includes 2 nights stay in a deluxe room, daily breakfast for 2 guests, a Buffet Lunch for 2 people on 25 March 2020 and Buffet Dinner for 2 on 25 March 2020. 20% off is offered on all spa treatments at SereS Spa Sanctuary.
How much: starting from IDR 3,900,000
Oasis lagoon – Silent staycation
When: 24th of March until 26th of March
What: Enjoy Silence day in Bali at Oasis lagoon. The resort offers a host of “shhhh” activities on Nyepi day and a full board package during your stay.
How much: starting from IDR 1.900.000 Net
ARTOTEL – Magical day of silence
When: 24th of march until 26th of march
What: Breathe in, breathe out as you witness the serenity of the Balinese Silent Day. A moment of stillness. A moment of silence. A moment to reflect. ARTOTEL Sanur – Bali presents their Moment of Stillness package:
Enjoy 3 days and 2 nights with a full board all-inclusive package: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Capture the stillness in time to refresh your mind, and start again with a more graceful soul.
How much: IDR 2.400.000 nett/room valid for 2 pax
For reservations: Visit their website artotelgroup.com
Novotel – Nyepi escape package
When: Check in on 24th of March, check out on 26th of March
What: The Novotel offers a Nyepi escape package with daily buffet breakfast, inclusive of lunch and dinner on 25th of March 2020. It also includes free access to the fitness centre and sauna and much more!
How much: Deluxe room IDR 3,900,000/ 1 bedroom suite IDR 4,800,000/ 2 bedroom suite IDR 8,200,000