The meaning of Nyepi Day in Bali

Nyepi Day is the day of the Saka (Isakawarsa) year. The celebration that is held once a year takes place on the day after Tileming Kesanga on the date 1 sasih Kedasa. Nyepi has a philosophy where Hindus ask God (Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa) to purify human (Bhuana Alit) and nature and all its contents (Bhuana Agung). Nyepi means silent or quiet. During Nyepi, you cannot do activities, such as going out of the house (except being sick and needing treatment), turning on the lights, working, etc. The purpose of Nyepi is to create a quiet atmosphere, silence from the hustle and bustle of life and silence from all the desires or greed of human nature to purify the universe and the humans. Before Nyepi day, a series of ceremonies were held which meant that the Purification of Bhuana Alit and Bhuana Agung could run smoothly. The series of ceremonies varies, depending on the Local Wisdom Genius and the recollections of each region and the policies set forth together. Nyepi Day has several stages to begin. Starting from the Melasti, Mecaru, and Dredging Ceremony. Then followed by the peak of Nyepi Day itself. And the last is called the Ngembak Geni.

1. Melasti or Melis ceremony is held a few days before Nyepi day. During the Melasti ceremony, various pratimas or sacred objects will be purified by being taken to the Segara (sea) or river. In ancient times, various objects were paraded by being carried / placed on the head.

- Melasti = melelasti = nganyudang malaning gumi ngamet Tirta Amerta. Wash away the impurities of nature using the water of life. Segara (sea) is considered the source of Tirtha Amertha (Dewa Ruci, Pemuteran Mandaragiri). However, as time goes by, the wisdom of the human mind makes or modifies by giving wheels to Jempana to be easily paraded towards the sea. Jempana is a place where various objects that are sacred and sanctified by Hindus will be placed there. After pratima is purified then it is left in the Village Temple for a day. after Nyepi day, these various pratimas are placed in their respective temples. Pelelastian must be completed and purified pratima must already be in the grand bale before Tilem afternoon.

- Mecaru / Tawur Mecaru, or Tawur is held on Tilem Sasih Kesange day, a day before Nyepi. It is a ceremony held in every home or family, village, district, etc. By making offerings addressed to the Bhuta Kala or can be called negative things so that in the future does not interfere with human life. Hindus carry out "Bhuta Yadnya" ceremonies at crossroads and neighborhoods by taking one of the Caru types (a kind of offering). The Bhuta Yadnya are each named Pañca Sata (small), Pañca Sanak (medium), and Tawur Agung (large). Tawur or renewal itself is purification / pemarisuda (Bhuta Kala) and all the "leteh" (dirt) is expected to disappear altogether. "Caru" which is carried out in each home, consists of manca (five) colors, totaling 9 spares / packages along with side dishes such as Ayam Brumbun (colorful) accompanied by "tetabuhan" arak / tuak. The Bhuta Yadnya is addressed to the Blind King, Blind Kala and Batara Kala, by pleading that they do not interfere with the people.

- Dredging Ceremony is usually held one day before Nyepi celebration. Aiming to expel Bhuta Kala or evil. This ceremony is held in the afternoon (Sandhyakala) after the Mecaru ceremony is performed at the home level. Starting with rice tawur, torching the house, spraying houses and yards with gunpowder and hitting anything that can make a noise. Enlivened by the Ogoh-ogoh parade which is an embodiment of the Bhuta Kala' which is paraded around the village. This is expected to expel the Bhuta Kala from the home, yard and surrounding environment. In each village, the Ogoh-ogoh procession is a manifestation of the Bhuta Kala which has a negative character. After being paraded around the village, Ogoh-ogoh will be burn with the aim that negative things would disappear and not interfere with human life.

2. Nyepi Day. When Nyepi especially in Bali, all must be quiet or silent. There are no activities on this day. At that time the Catur Brata Penyepian was held consisting of:

- Amati Geni is not allowed to use lights or light a fire and do not do things that bring lust.

- Amati Karya is not doing physical work activities, but increasing spiritual purifying activities.

- Amati Lelungan, which is not traveling but introspective.

- Amati Lelanguan, which is not looking for fun / entertainment but to concentrate on Ida Sanghyang Widhi.

This Brata begins one day or 24 hours. According to Hindus, everything that is transitional is always preceded by a dark symbol. So that Nyepi Day implies the day of purification the human and the universe. Throwing away all the dirt or all the negative things that have been past, to welcome the new year (saka). And start a new year with something new, something positive and of course a new spirit to navigate the next life. In the silence of this Nyepi holy day we hold introspective, unite the mind, and unite the creativity, taste and intention towards discovering the nature of our being and the essence of the universal life. Perform Brata Penyepian Upawasa (not eating and drinking / fasting), Mona Brata (not communicating), and Jagra (not sleeping).

3. Ngembak Geni. Done a day after Nyepi (Ngembak Api), as the last series of Saka New Year celebrations. Conducted by visiting between family and neighbors or acquaintances, and forgive one another. Holding Tattwam Asi's principle, "I am you and you are me". We are all the same before God, even though we have different religions or beliefs, we should live in harmony and always be peaceful. With a new atmosphere, a new life will begin with a clean heart. So, if the year ends every December 31 and the new year begins January 1, then the Saka year ends on "panglong ping limolas (15) sasih kesanga (IX)", and the new year begins on the date 1 sasih kedasa (X).

Thus a little picture of the meaning of Nyepi, especially in Bali. Hopefully the celebration this year will run smoothly, even though the visit of tourists both domestic and foreign are still busy coming to Bali. And there are some special tourists who come to enjoy or know the situation of Nyepi Day celebrations in Bali.

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