By Yasmin Ririhena.
Only two months into 2019 and the New Year’s celebration is already on its way! Hari Raya Nyepi, also known as Silent Day, is the beginning of the Balinese New Year. 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. The normally busy streets of Bali’s cities make room for peace and quiet.
Before that happens though one of the world’s most unusual parades sees huge papier-mache effigies, the ‘Ogoh-Ogoh’ carried down the streets of most Bali villages. 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 tourists are more than welcome to join in.
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 they head to the rivers and the sea to lay their final offerings.
The Balinese Hindus stay inside 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. Here are our picks priced from lowest to highest, enjoy the blessings of being in Bali at this very special time of year.
Avoid Nyepi altogether and head to Lombok. Gili Air’s Sunset Beach is home to Kai’s Beach House, a beach-chic cottage that is available to rent over Hari Raya Nyepi. The house only has three bedrooms, each with its own en-suite bathroom. Your breakfast will be prepared daily in a fully equipped kitchen. Enjoy the beautiful beach in front, or jump into the plunge pool in the garden. Your stay also comes with a 15% discount voucher at Sunkissed and Da Beach Shack boutiques. Prices start at IDR 1.000.000 for one room per night and go up to IDR 2.000.000 per night for the entire house.
Located in Nusa Dua, The Sakala Resort brings you modern suites and villas with Balinese influences evident in the architecture and interiors. Their Nyepi package consists of a room & breakfast deal but can be upgraded to a full board package. Whether you prefer a regular suite, a pool view, or a luxury villa all to yourself, The Sakala Resort has you covered. Prices start at IDR 1.200.000 a night and include daily buffet breakfast, access to The Health Club and The Kids Club.
Trade in the hustle and bustle of Bali life for the virgin white beach that Hotel Tugu Lombok calls home Get ready for breathtaking sunrises over Mount Rinjani while enjoying a daily lavish breakfast. Find yourself immersed in the culturally rich and diverse history of Indonesia by taking in the architecture, art and antiques used to brilliantly decorate this uniquely beautiful resort. Hotel Tugu Lombok has been named the Conde Naste’s Top Resort in Asia by it’s readers, and this is your chance to experience it for yourself.
Nyepi at Tugu will provide you with the inclusive daily breakfast, daily sunset high tea with local delicacies and a romantic dinner by the sea. To top off your stay, you will have access to the Hening Swarga spa for a one-hour spa treatment for two.
Prices may vary according to your choice of accommodation but start at IDR 2.450.000 per night.
If you’re looking for breathtaking views on green hills and lush rice paddies, Kamandalu Resort provides you wi