Nyepi is Balinese new year or often called “the Day of Silence”.
It is a Hindu tradition mostly celebrated in Bali, Indonesia. Nyepi falls in march according to the Balinese calendar.
Although it is a new year celebration, Nyepi is a day of fasting, meditation and self-reflection for the Balinese. As a Balinese you are not allowed to work or do anything for pleasure. Anything that could interfere with this is prohibited. Therefor all lights must be switched off, there should be no work of any kind. The streets are empty and most people stay indoors.
The only people allowed to work is security staff that controls the street to make sure the prohibitions of Nyepi are being followed. Hospitals and emergency staff are on call if anyone decides to have a life threatening event or give birth on Nyepi. But most doctors will ask the patient to wait until after Nyepi if not critical.
Most non Balinese citizens celebrate Nyepi out of respect and most tourists that stay during Nyepi will be affected too.
As a tourist you will not be allowed outside of your hotel complex. If you do use the hotel facilities outside of your hotel room, you should be silent out of respect of Balinese traditions. There will be no meals served, if you are lucky there might be breakfast. So if you plan ahead it might be a good idea to rent a room with kitchen or at least its own fridge to store food for Nyepi.
Ask ahead if electricity will be switched off if you so that you will be able to use it.
The day before Nyepi is celebrated with a huge parade of Ogho-Ogho‘s, monster characters handmade by the young local men. Women never participate in the production.
These monsters are then carried on a bamboo platform by all the men and displayed during a parade that runs through the city or village filled with people and music.
Fireworks, light shows and balinese dancers accompanies the monsters and the young men then celebrates the hard work and the day to come.