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Nyepi in Bali

mini-clbo8-b-822Today in Bali it is Nyepi. This is the day of absolute silence for all Balinese. No activity is done on this day. In fact, there is no enjoyment on this day and no fires are lit all day and night. People are not permitted to travel anywhere. It is also the day of fasting and self-introspection for the Balinese. Bali today is totally silent. There are no flights or other transportation. Harbours shut down and ferries cease arrivals and departures from the island. No night-clubs, restaurants, shopping places and other businesses are open. Even the normally bustling tourist centre of Kuta falls silent on Nyepi. The streets are deserted of cars and no one except those working for the emergency services are allowed to circulate. To ensure this is adhered to, the pecalang, security services, patrol the streets. Roads are closed, normally busy markets lie dormant, schools stand empty and all across Bali rest in an eeriness of silence.

There are not many places in the world that completely shut down for a 24-hour period but Bali does for its holiest day. There is no cooking, no eating, no fires, no work, no music, nor idle chatter on street corners as humans hide in their homes while the evil spirits, now homeless after the eve’s festivities and rituals have chased them from the island of the gods, seek vengeance on those who drove them from paradise.