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The Sounds of Silence

Bali Prepares for a Total Shutdown on the Official Day of Silence March 11, 2005 Nyepi.

(3/7/2005) Nyepi literally means Quiet in the Balinese language and is the name given to the day each year when it is he religious obligation of every Balinese Hindu to dedicate an entire day to quiet introspection and spiritual cleansing as he or she embarks on a New Year in the Balinese lunar calendar. Starting from approximately 5 a.m. on Friday, March 11 and continuing until 6 a.m. the following day, Nyepi will be observed by the devout through the abstinence from food and drink, human speech, and even the lighting of fires or lamps. As a result, Bali will resemble a ghost town throughout this period with all businesses and thoroughfares closed. Traditional village security - pecalang will patrol the island permitting the passage of only emergency vehicles and sternly rebuking neighbors who allow noise or light to be transmitted from their living quarters

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 24 hour period of the island's airport.

Hotels and Airport Affected

Guests visiting Bali during this unique holiday will be able to view first hand the Mardi Gras-like celebrations marked with street parades and drinks the night before Nyepi. Before sunrise on March 11, 2005, however, all will be required to take refuge in their hotels or homes before sunrise - there to remain until the following morning. Major hotels generally permit their guests full use of their various outlets with the understanding that guests will not venture outside the property, and special arrangements are made for the hotel's staff to stay overnight at their place of employment with normal traffic between their homes and place of employment impossible on Nyepi day.

Bali's only airport will also shut down during the entire Nyepi period. All flights that would normally embark or disembark passengers in Bali have been cancelled for the approximate 24 hour Nyepi interlude.

The Government has issued official guidelines on municipal operations during Nyepi.

[See: Government Issues Nyepi Guidelines]

Selamat Hari Raya Nyepi Tahun Baru Caka 1927!

Happy Balinese New Year!