Nyepi. This year on the 21rst of March. Day of silence to fool the spirits.
Spirits that have been lured away from their comfortable homes amongst the lovely Balinese people who, presumably, had treated them with beauty and luxury. But incense, fruits, beautiful women and money got them out onto the streets, away from their hiding places.
Then, once lingering in the streets, the Balinese men violently attack them with fireworks, homemade canonfire, screaming and frightning Ogoh-ogoh’s (monsters the Balinese have been preparing for weeks).
You bet it works: those spirits get the fright of their lives and flee.
Come next day, it is important the Balinese hide. They will refrain from cooking, walking in the street, hang the laundery, raise their voices, play music or, at night, producing any kind of light.
Even the airport is closed for one day in the year.
This is Nyepi. A day of incredible tranquile in an densely-populated community. Silence and serenity.
So the spirits who fled the day before, now fly back over lovely Bali but it seems all deserted.
Your regular ghost will move on, disappointed with the lack of life in it’s former homes, letting itself be carried by the wind, to other islands. Java, Lombok, where ever…
So, if you’d like to experience a day of complete silence, and a night without light-pollution, a day in which you can contemplate what kind of nothing you will practice, then make sure you arrive in Bali before the 21rst of March this year, so you can share the experience with the Balinese.
Excitement the day before and absolute peace the next.
Photography by Peter Steenbergen, Madé’s Warung, Seminyak, Bali.
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