Bali was an island "closed for business" on Saturday, April 13, 2002, in accordance with the strict local rules observed island-wide to mark the start of a New Year on the Bali Hindu calendar. 'Nyepi' - A day of absolute silence must be spent fasting in quiet meditation during which, according to tradition, no flames should be lit, no work performed and the streets of the island - including its normally busy airport - should come to an absolute standstill.
The day before Nyepi, known as Pengerupukan, stands in stark contrast to what follows. The night before the day of silence is consumed with massive parades of giant paper mache monsters or Ogoh Ogoh - lovingly built by each community in the weeks prior to the celebration. On this night, everyone takes to the island's roadways in festive block parties during which copious amounts of arak rice wine are consumed.
In order to share some of the excitement of the holiday, the Bali Hilton International invited their guests to join the Ogoh Ogoh procession, highlighted by noise makers, bamboo bells and a torch light parade. The Ogoh-Ogoh monsters are made to chase away evil spirit before the commencement of the New Year. Following the burning of the Ogoh-Ogoh at the end of the procession at the beach, the hotel's guests enjoyed a Kecak trance dance at the Balinese Theatre.
Like other international hotels on the island, local authorities allow the Bali Hilton to serve its guests on Nyepi Day, but required guests to stay on the hotel's grounds for the entire day.
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