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Happy New Years Bali | 25 March 2020 | Caka 1942


The Balinese culture and Hindu customs are probably are affecting almost every aspect of life on the island. The unique mix between Hindu-Dharma and domestic customs has lead to a vast variety of art and a long tradition of artists and masters Masterpieces of art can easily be found in every corner of Bali. Bali’s culture can still be felt everywhere; People wearing their ceremonial attires is a common sight. One of Indonesia’s most unique holidays is Hindu New Year. Hindu New Year is also known as Hari Raya Nyepi. Three Days Before Bali Hindu New Year There are various rituals that the Balinese people observe to celebrate the coming of the Hindu New Year in Bali Three days prior to Hari Raya Nyepi, the Melasti Ritual is observed The Melasti Ritual is performed near the water in Pura, Using sea water, the ritual purifies sacred objects The Eve of Hindu New Year On Hindu New Year’s Eve in Bali, the Bhuta Yajna ritual is performed by every community This ritual banishes negativity and evil from the island and its inhabitants According to Hindu beliefs, it is the responsibility of humans to maintain the balance between the gods, Earth, and humans. For this ritual, Balinese people create large statues of demons and other evil creatures out of bamboo and paper These statues are known as ogoh-ogoh Many of the ogoh-ogoh seen in parades are created by youth groups from Balinese villages The most impressive ogoh-ogoh are usually created by Balinese artists. After the ogoh-ogoh are created, they are taken to a large street parade for everyone to see . It is believed that the ogoh-ogoh will absorb the negative energy of the spectators and ward off evil spirits After the parade, the ogoh-ogoh are burned in a large public bonfire In addition to warding off evil and purifying the Balinese people the bonfire is also believed to satisfy Batara Kala, the god of the underworld. and…tomorrow is silent day On Hindu New Year’s Day, Hindus participate in Nyepi rituals The first aspect of the Nyepi ritual is known as Amati Geni Amati Geni declares that no fire or light can be used on Bali during Hari Raya Nyepi Amati Geni also restricts the use of electricity The second aspect of the Nyepi ritual is Amati Karya According to Amati Karya, no one in Bali may work during Hari Raya Nyepi The third aspect of the Nyepi rituals, Amati Lelunganan declares that no one may travel during Hari Raya Nyepi The final aspect of the Nyepi rituals is Amati Lelanguan. declares that every person in Bali must fast during Hari Raya Nyepi. Amati Lelanguan also requires people in Bali to refrain from entertainment During the Day of Silence, Bali’s people are expected to reflect on their actions over the past year Many Balinese people will take this as an opportunity to rest and think of ways to improve themselves throughout the upcoming year To ensure that all aspects of the Nyepi rituals are followed, Nyepi policemen patrol the island of Bali Everyone on Bali must abide by the Nyepi rituals.

Jean Kelley

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