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Nyepi Day – Bali Hindu New Year 2019 in Indonesia - Nyepi 2019 Date

Nyepi is the Hindu New Year in the Bali Island of Indonesia. The New Year is observed as ‘a day of silence’ as Nyepi symbolically represents the state of the universe before creation. Nyepi 2019 date is March 7, Wednesday. Bali Hindu New Year is based on lunar calendar. The festival is marked by numerous rituals and pujas and is spread over four days.

The rituals related to Nyepi begin two days before Amavasya or the actual Nyepi day.
  • The first day is dedicated to Melasti purification or Mekiyis or Melis. 
  • The day before Nyepi is Tawur Kesanga or Tawur Agung. 
  • Then it is Nyepi the day of silence. 
  • The next day is Ngembak Geni.

History of Nyepi and Connection With India

The Bali New Year is based on the Saka calendar – the one followed by the Indian government and in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Goa. In India, Saka era begins with the Chaitra month. Kaniska I of India had started this calendar in AD 78. And it was Aji Saka who introduced the Saka era in Bali.

How is Nyepi Observed?

Melasti - First Day (March 5, 2019)

On the first day that is the Melasti purification day, village deities are bathed in the sea. People take bath along with deities. 

On the Melasti purification day, murtis (idols) of gods from temples in villages are bathed in the sea. People take bath along with deities. The ritual is dedicated to God Baruna (Varuna) – the god of the oceans.

Symbolically, by taking bath on the day with the deities, the sea purifies man's soul so he can embrace the New Year with a pure heart. It also provides an opportunity to take the blessing of God Varuna, the god of oceans.

Tawur Kesanga - Second Day (March 6, 2019) - Ogoh Ogoh Ceremony 

On the Tawur Kesanga day, evil or Bhuta Kala is burnt. Ogoh-ogoh, huge demons made from bamboo, represents the evil. In a carnival atmosphere in the evening, Ogoh-ogoh is burnt in the street corner. It is a sort of warding off the evil and also a cleansing ceremony.

The Ogoh Ogoh ceremony attracts thousands of people. Symbolically, it represents the burning of all evil, hatred, jealousy and all that is inauspicious before the New Year which falls on the next day.

Nyepi Day (March 7, 2019)

On the Nyepi day there is no activity. Pecalangs, traditional Balinese security men, make sure that the villages are totally silent with no traffic and activity. It is the New Year day, a day to contemplate and cleanse the mind and body and begin afresh.

Ngembak Geni (March 8, 2019)

The following day is Ngembak Geni. It is meant for prayers and meeting friends and relatives.