Nyepi Bali or silent day is a Hindu celebration. It is a day of silent, fasting and meditation for the Balinese new year.
A day for self reflection, and anything that might interfere with that purpose is restricted. And the restriction is not only for Balinese but also for anyone who stays in Bali on that day.
Nyepi Bali begins at sunrise around 6:00 am and will go on until the next day 24 hours. On that day, people have to stay inside their house. No one allow to travel or go outside their house, play music or make noise, and turn on light or make fire at night.
Rituals on The Silent Day
There are rituals on that day, and it is nice to know before you decide to stay and enjoy it. First ritual is the Melasti ritual. The ritual performs 3-4 days before the day at a temple near the sea (Pura Segara) and meant to purify Arca, Pratima, and Pralingga (sacred objects) belonging to several temples.
Second ritual is Bhuta Yajna. This ritual performs in order to vanquish the negative elements and create a balance with God, Mankind, and Nature.
And the third ritual is the Nyepi itself. There are four ritual in Nyepi and that are: Amati Geni means no fire or light, including no electricity. Amati Karya which means no working. Amati Lelunganan means no traveling. And, Amati Lelanguan means no revelry/self-entertainment.
Fourth ritual is the Ngambek Agni or Labuh Brata ritual performed for all Hindus to forgive each other, and to welcome the new days to come.
Night before The Silent Day
On the second ritual of Nyepi, especially the night before Nyepi, people in Bali perform dances and Ogoh-ogoh parade to celebrate the welcoming day of Nyepi.
What is Ogoh-ogoh? Ogoh-ogoh is a demonic statue made of richly painted bamboo, cloth, tinsel, and Styrofoam to symbolizing negative elements or malevolent spirits or even characters from Hindu mythology.
The night welcoming of the silent day always feels so special, especially for visitors such as me who come from outside Bali and decided to stay to enjoy the silent day.
The Dance & The Fire War At Nagi Village
I have been living in Bali for almost 8 years, and never missed the silent day, and am always amazed by the dance performances and the Ogoh-ogoh parade that is held by people in Bali.
But, there was one night before the silent day that I felt very special. It was the time when I watched how people of Nagi village celebrated their welcoming day of Nyepi. In that village, they not only performed Ogoh-ogoh parade, but also held an amazing dance and fire war.
The dance and the fire war performed by young men that live in the village. Using fire balls of dried coconut husks, the young men threw the flaming balls at each other symbolizing the courage to drive demons away, and whoever could overcome it, he or she would have the ultimate happiness.
The Location Of Nagi Village
The location of the village is only 4 km away from the monkey forest street in Ubud. If you use a motorbike to get there, it only takes 10 minutes, and the fire war will be hold at Bale Banjar of Nagi village.
If you decide to stay in Bali on the silent day, visiting Nagi village to watch the fire war can be an interesting thing to do on your adventure on the night before the silent day.