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New year or Nyepi in Bali

By Irina | ForeverSunday

March 24, 2015

Bali, Ubud

Happy 1937! We didn’t realise that when we would go to Bali, so soon would we be celebrating New Year’s Eve and New Year again. Luckily, this time I didn’t have to organise the party… ;-)

What a spectacular introduction to Bali! In the week up to Nyepi or New Year the Balinese people make abundant offerings and carry them to the temple in colourful processions.

Offerings at every doorstep
Offerings at every doorstep

March towards the temple in traditional dress
March towards the temple in traditional dress

Large demonic creatures, called Ogoh Ogohs are built which represent all the sins and bad stuff that happened the past year. The creatures are carried around in a parade, and afterwards burnt (or left at the side of the street).
Scary Ogoh Ogohs to chase away bad spirits
Scary Ogoh Ogohs to chase away bad spirits

All the people and Ogoh Ogohs gather in Ubud's main square
All the people and Ogoh Ogohs gather in Ubud’s main square
Ogoh Ogohs are carried around in a beautiful parade
Ogoh Ogohs are carried around in a beautiful parade

New Year’s Eve is followed by Nyepi, Day of Silence, when no one is allowed outside the house, work, go on the internet, cook or use electricity. The airport is closed and all ATMs are out of service. Some people fast during the day. It’s a day of meditation, sleep and family time, and Balinese people say it’s the day with the freshest air of the whole year (no pollution…) We spent these days at Indra homestay in Ubud, and witnessed not only their generosity towards the gods but also to us. We love Bali already!

Yummie breakfast at Indra homestay
Yummie breakfast at Indra homestay

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About the author

Irina is a certified Ayurvedic coach and yoga teacher in the Hatha and Traditional Tantra traditions (500+hr RYT). Irina has been teaching and writing about Ayurveda and Yoga, hosting retreats and offering online classes, workshops and consultations since 2015, when she founded ForeverSunday Ayurveda and Yoga.

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