For us city dwellers, the idea of spending 24 hours in complete silence sounds absolutely bonkers, and quite frankly near on impossible! In Bali, however, they have an entire day dedicated to doing just that! ‘Nyepi’ which is in celebration of the Saka New Year is a Balinese Holiday that has been celebrated for years and years and is known as the “Day of Silence”. Taking place on the 28th of March, the day of Nyepi is a public holiday and officially lasts for 24 hours from 6am, and involves complete silence. All human activity stops, all shops, bars and restaurants close and no-one leaves their home or hotel. Even Bali’s international airport closes down! No lights are allowed to be switched on or even candles lit. It’s a total shut down.
The Balinese Hindu ritual starts at the beginning of the Lunar calendar when there is a new moon. They believe spring is the time of year when the Lord of Hell sends all the devils to Bali, who must then be cleared out to purify the island before the new year begins so that when the evil spirits descend, they will decide that Bali is uninhabited and leave the island alone for another year.
Tourists are still welcome in Bali during this time but are asked to stay in their hotels to keep in with the tradition. Travellers that have been there during the time have found it very soothing as this is, as expected, far from anything they have experience before. It is a time for the Balinese people to reflect and spiritually reconnect with themselves with no interruptions.
With the fast-paced lives we lead today, the idea of Nyepi sounds like a dream, but let’s be honest…most of us wouldn’t last more than 5 minutes in silence with the amount of distractions around us! We do, however, believe that there are huge benefits to setting time aside to reflect and reconnect with ourselves on a more spiritual level. Allowing ourselves to switch off completely for just half an hour without any sound or any light on a regular basis will undoubtedly relive stress and built-up tension. It has actually been proven that silence regenerates brain cells and improves our memory! You would never think it but by allowing yourself some timeout you are more likely to get things done a lot quicker and more effectively… your boss will definitely be thanking you!
Although doing nothing all day might sound appealing, it is slightly unrealistic when you have a job or demanding children to look after, so we have come up with a way to incorporate an essence of Nyepi into your life without needing to take a whole 24 hours off! The key is to allow yourself a small period of time every couple of days to just completely zone out. No phones, laptops, TV, just you and your mind to have some down time. If you practice yoga or meditation, this is definitely something you will be familiar with, but for many others it is unheard of to just do absolutely nothing! If this concept sounds very foreign to you, then maybe you are the most in-need of it… not to rid the devils in your life but for the mental benefits the Balinese people speak so highly of. It’s the act of stripping away thoughts and distractions and reconnecting with yourself with no interruptions, to reflect on your current situation that is so brilliant for you.
Bisma Eight, luxury hotel in Ubud
If you are visiting Bali during Nyepi, we recommend staying at Bisma Eight to experience peace in a luxury jungle environment. The atmosphere is tranquil and relaxing, and is the best place to stay to find inner serenity and take part in some self reflection in the most beautiful surroundings. Bisma Eight pays close attention to the cultural and spiritual significance of Bali so their guests can fully experience their way of life. The hotel respects the Holiday of Nyepi every year and offers guest a “less strict” approach to taking part. Everything from the food that is organically sourced, from their very own gardens to the activities such as daily yoga on a rooftop, to the gentle music and sensory smells that come from all the natural materials used in the design and aesthetic… the whole experience at Bisma Eight is dedicated to inspire and encourage you to be a better, healthier version of you!
For more details, click here!