Last Sunday was Nyepi Day, or the Day of Silence, in Bali.
Effectively, it’s Balinese New Year, but as opposed to most other New Years, this one is ushered in with deep silence. In fact, Nyepi means “to keep silent”- and that’s exactly what the island does…keeps silent. Shops are closed, the airport is closed, there are no cars, motorbikes, or people on the streets. Windows are covered, lights are dimmed or not turned on at all.
The idea behind this silence is that when the ogres fly over Bali, they won’t see any movement and, at night, they’ll see nothing but darkness, so won’t stop.
It’s in contrast to the day before, when as much noise as possible is made in order to scare away the evil spirits. These are symbolised by huge ogoh-ogohs – giant statues made of (usually) bamboo and paper and burnt on the day before Nyepi.
I’ve never been there for Nyepi Day itself, but have flown out the day before. It falls on the day after the dark moon of the autumn equinox (southern hemisphere).
Anyways, all of this is leading me into a post about green – this week’s #Sundaystills theme. Specifically, Bali green. I mightn’t be able to get there at the moment, but I can dream.
First up there’s the green of the rice fields. There are rice fields and then there are rice fields. These ones at Jatiluwih (pics below) are the latter. They are considered so culturally important that they’ve been nominated for UNESCO status.
Jatiluwih, loosely translated as truly (or really) beautiful (or marvellous), is located in the Central Mountains north of Tabanan and in the sights of Gunung Batukau- Bali’s second-highest mountain.
Speaking of volcanoes, here’s some more green… This pic of Gunung Agung, Bali’s highest volcano, was taken at Bali Asli – a restaurant in the eastern regency of Karangasem.
There is, however, green wherever you look…