Observe the festival of Nyepi in Bali - AsiaRooms.com
January 24, 2010 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel NewsAsiaRooms.com can announce that people staying in Bali hotels during March may notice an important event taking place - Nyepi or the 'day of silence'.
This day falls on Bali's lunar new year - it was March 26th in 2009 - and is observed with silence, fasting and meditation.
On the night before the festival, Balinese people will traditionally clean their homes, cook meals and complete their work while preparing themselves for the following day.
All businesses on the island are closed for Nyepi, which is observed between 6:00am local time on the day of the new year and 6:00am the following morning, as people set time aside for silent reflection.
Although foreign travellers in Bali are exempt from the tradition, many decide to participate in Nyepi during their stay on the island.
The events is primarily a Hindu holiday, but is also usually observed by non-Hindu residents as a mark of respect.
Ngembak Geni, the day after Nyepi, is characterised by families meeting up to ask forgiveness of one another and perform traditional rituals.
The day of silence is both preceded and followed by noisy, celebratory festivities, with children making papier-mache dolls that represent evil spirits known as 'ogoh-ogoh'.