The May 5, 2004, edition of the Indonesian-language Bali Post reports the Government Department charged with the Hindu and Buddhist Affairs has accepted the recommendation of the Parisada Pusat that the next Nyepi day should fall on Friday, March 11, 2004.
Nyepi is the day marking the first day of the Balinese Saka calendar and is strictly observed island-wide with a day of absolute silence and meditation, including the shut down for a 36 hour period of the island's airport.
The exact day that should be set aside for Nyepi observances is a topic of lively debate on the island. Its exact date is dependent on which calendar system is used to calculate the passage of time. Hindus in Indonesia create their calendar based on one of four systems: either the movements of the solar system, tracking the earth’s journey around the sun; the movements on the lunar system, timing the rotation of the moon around the earth; the 210-day rotation of the ancient wuku calendar comprised of 30 weeks of 7 days; or the prenatasamasa system tied to the movement of the sun and the start of the seasons.
Based on ancient lontar leaf chronicles originating from both solar and lunar traditions, Nyepi should fall in 2005 on March 11, 2005. However, there are others who contend – also using lunar and solar movements as their reference, that the correct date for Nyepi should be April 9, 2005.
Mark March 11 on Your Calendar!
Confused? Don't be.
The current 'consensus', subject to a final decree to be issued by Bali's Governor, is that Nyepi will be celebrated on March 11, 2005, marking the start of the new Balinese year of Saka 1927.
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