Nyepi is the Balinese New Year, and it falls around March every year. It is not the same day each year, as it is based on the Balinese calendar, and always falls when there is no moon. There are various ways that the Balinese prepare for this important day:
1. The youth of each village build large papier mache monsters (Ogoh Ogoh) for months leading up to this event. These monsters can take any form, but often have long nails and large breasts. They are made to represent the dark and evil spirits. They are brightly decorated, and paraded around the streets the night before Nyepi
2. A Melasti ceremony is performed three or four days before Nyepi day. This is when the Balinese all wear white ceremonial clothes, and walk in a procession to the sea, bringing various religious items to be cleansed in the water. They also will cleanse themselves, to get rid of any bad influences, and thoughts.
3. The night before Nyepi, the Ogoh Ogoh are paraded in the streets, and then burned, to release the bad spirits. Homemade bamboo fireworks are set off to create a lot of noise and confusion
4. Starting at dawn the next day, for 24 hours, everyone must stay inside, and not use any electrical appliances or fire. Traditionally, the Balinese will fast on this day, and spend much of the day instreets are empty, and this is believed to trick the bad spirits in to thinking that everyone has disappeared.
What this means for you as tourists:
1. There are no flights coming in or out of Bali for the 24 hour period.
2. You will not be permitted to leave the hotel grounds. Black out curtains will be applied to the windows in your rooms, to prevent any lights that you may be using being seen from the outside.
3. You will be free to move within the hotel grounds, but please be courteous and try not to make too much noise. Keep use of lights to the minimum.
4. If you have a medical emergency, please contact the hotel staff, and special compensation will be given for you to be escorted to a hospital.