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Sunday, 14 November 2010

Nyepi The Day of Silence


One of the most unique festivals of Indonesia is Nyepi. Known as the Day of Silence in English, Nyepi is held in the month of April and is an annual event. Nyepi or the Day of Silence in Indonesia is observed to celebrate the Balinese New Year. It is held on the new moon day that immediately follows the spring equinox. Nyepi is basically the new year day as per the Sasih, the 12-month lunar calendar of the Balinese people. This is an informal calendar, which is followed extensively throughout the country. The festival is basically held in the city of Bali.
Unlike other New Year celebrations, this Nyepi is celebrated without much sound or cheer. Silence and tranquility is observed on this day because of which it is known as the Day of Silence. On this day the people usually stay at home. However, most of the major celebrations take place on the night before.
All the rituals and festivities of the celebration are meant to expel the evil spirits and demons from the Earth and thus prevent them from harming the New Year. The temples are crowded with people on this day. The priests can be seen chanting hymns and prayers to drive away the evil spirits and send them back to heaven. These prayers are accompanied by the sound of drum beats and the screams of the villagers. You can also get to see people running with lighted torches on the streets and in the field. Effigies are also burned. This is basically done to make sure that all the evil spirits are driven away. The next day, which is the main Nyepi day or the Day of Silence, the entire city of Bali is shrouded in silence. People stay in their homes and no one can comes out. You can pay visit to the coast to see the ritual bathing of the idols of the God’s and the Goddesses.
Nyepi or the Day of Silence is a marvelous festival and is a symbol of the tradition and culture of the country.


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