Nyepi 2022 has arrived, so here's everything you need to know about this Hindu celebration, and why it's our favourite day on the Balinese calendar.
Unless you’re a Bali regular or local resident, chances are, you’ve never heard about Nyepi, AKA Bali’s “Day of Silence”. It’s when, for a full 24 hours, all of the island’s lights must be switched off, transport comes to a halt and everyone must stay at home. Sounds crazy? In our humble opinion, Nyepi is the most magical and unique date on the Balinese calendar, found nowhere else in the world other than on this enchanting little island.
Sure, it can interrupt some of your plans, and you won’t be able to hit the beaches, the boutiques or spas for 24 hours. But before you start looking at ways to escape the island, let us tell you why you’ve hit the holiday jackpot if you happen to be in Bali during this spiritual celebration, as well as tips on what to prepare, where to stay, and even how to spend the day – every answer to your nagging Nyepi FAQs.
NYEPI 2022 IN BALI: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
When is Nyepi?
This year, Nyepi falls on Thursday March 3rd 2022, beginning at 6am and finishing 24 hours later at 6am on March 4th. The date of Nyepi changes each year according to the Balinese calendar, so you’ll want to check ahead if you’re already planning next year’s Bali escape.
What is Nyepi?
For the Balinese, Nyepi is a Hindu celebration that marks the start of a New Year – a day to cleanse the island from the previous year’s misdoings and bad omens, establishing a pure and positive year ahead. The whole island shuts down for a full 24 hours, and the streets are off limits to everyone. Even the airport closes for a full day, with planes being rerouted above so not to disturb the silence below. Everyone must remain inside their homes, villas or hotels without any disturbances – this means no travelling, transport, work, sound, or even light. In short, it’s pure bliss.
What happens during Nyepi?
On Nyepi Day, the Balinese will be busy meditating, praying and spending silent time at home with their families. But for non-Hindus, the answer is quite simply: nothing (other than plenty of relaxation). However, prior to Bali’s Day of Silence, the streets come alive with the sweet sounds of traditional gamelan and reams of colourful offerings. You’ll also spot villagers excitedly preparing and sculpting enormous papier-mâché monsters (called Ogoh-Ogoh) which, on the night before Nyepi, are paraded through the streets with loud music, bursts of fire and people lining the streets to add to the community spirit. It’s a spectacular contrast to the silent serenity that follows. Note: due to the current Coronavirus situation, only certain Ogoh-Ogoh parades can take place, with reduced numbers.
Fun fact! Want to know the reason behind the raucous parades on the eve of Nyepi, followed by total silence? The Balinese believe that evil sprits scour the earth looking for colonies to torment. So, the parades are designed to catch the attention of these evil spirits and draw them to the island. Then, by the time the evil spirits arrive, they find an island that’s seemingly deserted, with no sign of human life. Alas, these evil spirits depart, leaving the island cleansed and evil-free for another year ahead!
Must everyone celebrate Nyepi, even foreigners?
Yes, everyone must abide by the rules of Nyepi, namely by remaining indoors without any noise or visible light. Don’t fret though, you’re permitted to move around your accommodation as normal, providing that sound and light are kept to an absolute minimum. If you’re staying in a hotel, there’ll often be plenty of activities on offer to keep you occupied, and you won’t be in total darkness either – lights will often be left on but dimmed at nighttime, and you’ll just need to keep your curtains closed.
So what should I do on Nyepi Day?
With nothing else on the itinerary except kicking back and chilling out, there’s no better time to rest, relax and rejuvenate from the comforts of a luxury hotel or resort. Find yourself a good book, meditate, dust off an old board game, treat yourself to an at-home face mask or simply bask in the sunshine with only the sounds of nature all around. To help you plan your Nyepi escape, check out the special Nyepi Stay Packages below to make your Silent Day even more magical.
Nyepi packages: Where to stay on Bali’s Silent Day
Since no one can leave their accommodation on Nyepi day, many hotels will offer special Nyepi Stay Packages to keep everyone occupied on these “forced” days indoors. Most packages will offer discounted rates, complimentary meals, full access to the hotel’s facilities and sometimes vouchers for spa treatments – even the kiddos will be taken care of with games, activities and movie marathons.
Check out these special Nyepi 2022 Stay Packages for ideas on where to stay this Silent Day:
Hoshinoya Bali – the “Tranquil Silence Day Package” includes daily breakfast and a one-time Nyepi dinner for two, as well as countless wellness activities, like yoga, Candle Night mindfulness, star gazing, and ogoh-ogoh painting which includes an intimate resort parade.
Price: From Rp 13,086,400++ per villa for a two-night stay.
Karma Kandara – the “Nyepi Getaway Package” offers three different options to choose from, and includes luxury perks like a private pool villa, daily breakfast, a Nasi Tumpeng feast, a 30-minute Balinese Massage for two, and if you upgrade to the higher packages, you’ll also receive a two-course dinner and a complimentary villa upgrade too!
Price: From IDR 4,475,000 per night for a one-bedroom villa (minimum two-night stay).
Mamaka by Ovolo – the “Peaceful Retreat” package includes breakfast for two at Mamaka Rooftop, complimentary lunch and dinner on ‘Nyepi Day’, 20% discount on food and drinks, and 24 hour room service. There’ll also be exciting poolside activities, a yoga class, movie marathon, kite making, board games, and 24 hour access to the Wellness Zone. Psst – pets are welcome to join for free too!
Price: IDR 1,900,000 nett for a two-night stay.
Renaissance Bali Nusa Dua Resort – the package includes daily breakfast, a one-time lunch and one-time dinner for two people, resort activities, access to the kids club and free meals for kids!
Price: IDR 1,350,000++ per night (minimum two-night stay).
Samanvaya – the “Nyepi Day Package” includes two nights accommodation, daily breakfast for two, a 60 minute Balinese Massage for two, use of the yoga studio, complimentary afternoon tea, free guide to the Ogoh-Ogoh parade and a delicious Megibung shared dinner for two.
Price: IDR 3,400,000 for a two-night stay (use the code NYEPI).
Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort – the “Oasis of Serenity” package includes a daily buffet breakfast for two, a one-time dinner on Nyepi day, a complimentary extra-bed, a spa voucher, free room upgrade and resort activities too.
Price: IDR 1,250,000++ per room per night (minimum two-night stay).
Six Senses Uluwatu – the “Seclusion Day Offer” includes daily breakfast, one-time lunch, one-time dinner, 30% saving on spa treatments and dining, as well as complimentary resort activities and access to the kids club.
Price: IDR 4,500,000 per night (minimum two-night stay).
Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort – the “Nyepi KolaboRasa” package includes a two night stay in a Luxury Room, with breakfast for two adults and two children, one-time lunch and one-time dinner, an entire itinerary of resort experiences and access to the “Seven Culinary Wonders” gourmet collaboration.
Price: IDR 3,000,000++ for a two-night stay.
Tanadewa Resort & Spa Ubud – the “Silent Day Escape” package includes daily breakfast, a one-time lunch and dinner at Tanarasa. complimentary access to the gym and infinity pool, and 20% off on spa treatments.
Price: IDR 1,999,000 nett for a two-night stay.
The Apurva Kempinski Bali – the “Ultimate Serenity Package” includes daily breakfast for two, complimentary wellness activities (like sound healing, yoga and meditation), a one-time lunch at Pala restaurant, and a one-time dinner at Candi Ballroom. Bonus: stay three nights, and you’ll also receive lunch at Reef Beach Club!
Price: From IDR 2,650,000 ++ per room per night (minimum two-night stay).
The Legian Seminyak, Bali – the “Nyepi Special” package includes daily breakfast, afternoon tea, a private bar, and dinner cooked up by Bali’s legendary Locavore chefs.
Price: From IDR 5,000,000 for a two-night stay.
The Westin Resort & Spa Nusa Dua – the Nyepi package includes breakfast and dinner for two adults and two kids, free access to the kids club and the fitness centre, kids welcome amenities and Nyepi resort activities.
Price: From IDR 1,000,000++ per room per night (minimum two-night stay).
The Westin Resort & Spa Ubud – the Nyepi package includes daily breakfast for two, a one-time Nyepi buffet dinner for two, and access to all resort facilities.
Price: From IDR 1,450,000++ per room per night (minimum two-night stay).
Top Nyepi Tips:
- FOOD – If you’re staying in a private villa rather than a hotel, check ahead to see whether food and meals are provided. If not, you’ll want to stock up on plenty of sustenance well ahead of Nyepi, as the supermarket shelves are often bare by the time Nyepi swings around. You’ll also want to pre-prepare and cook most of your meals on the day before Nyepi, as you won’t be able to use that noisy blender or light-generating oven.
- TRAVEL – On the day before Nyepi, many roads will close at around 4pm to make way for the Ogoh-Ogoh parades that begin at 6pm, so you’ll want to avoid travelling long distances any time after lunch time. It’s the perfect excuse to head home early and begin winding down ahead of the silence.
- BUSINESS – Since Nyepi is the most important public holiday on the Balinese calendar, most businesses will close over Nyepi so that families can reunite and celebrate in their villages. Though the holiday is technically only one day, many businesses will close for an entire week, so keep this in mind if you have any deadlines (e.g visa extensions), or have any special occasions planned.
- OGOH-OGOH – One of the best things about Nyepi is the festivities that take place on the night before Silent Day, namely the Ogoh-Ogoh parades. Every village has their own parade, starting at around sunset time, so be sure to check out your local parade for a spellbinding show of colour, noise and good times. Otherwise, if you want to see the biggest and most staggering displays, then check out the Ogoh-Ogoh parades in Jimbaran (at the main McDonalds intersection), Seseh (at the intersection of Jl Raya Tanah Lot) or in Denpasar on Imam Bonjol. You’ll want to watch the closest parade to wherever you’re staying, ‘cause it’s likely you’ll need to walk home due to the road closures and out-of-office taxi drivers. Note: due to the current Coronavirus situation, only certain Ogoh-Ogoh parades can take place in 2022 with reduced numbers
Selamat Hari Raya Nyepi, everyone!