Nyepi 2020: 5 Things to Do - Enjoy Bali with No Internet

Nyepi 2020: 5 Things to Do - Enjoy Bali with No Internet

What is Nyepi in Bali? 

What if we could give the planet, and ourselves, a break for 24 hours? Imagine... No light. No working. No talking. No phones. No internet. No cars. No one outside. That’s what’s happening in Bali for Nyepi each year.

Can’t believe it? It’s real. In Saka, the Balinese lunar calendar, Nyepi is New Year’s Day - a sacred day. It’s possibly the most iconic Balinese tradition.

Nyepi is a day to cleanse the island from evil spirits and give Mother Nature a rest. One day out of 365 without human activity.

When is Nyepi 2020?

In 2020, the holiday begins at 6 a.m. on March 25 and ends at 6 a.m. on March 26 - sunrise to sunrise.

It’s a good time to be in Bali as it’s the end of the rainy season, which is usually from October to March. 

You can enjoy an “in-between” beautiful period; the busy season hasn’t started yet, and the weather is most likely pleasant. 

Balinese traditional offerings are multicolored floral decor. Part of Bali's sacred tradition, it amazes tourists.

“So wait… What is Nyepi day like for tourists? Can I still enjoy Bali? Will there be any restrictions during my vacation?”

Some tourists will find that ritual fantastic, and dive deep into the cultural side of the island.  Others will totally panic and wonder how to survive. It’s ok. We got you.

The first thing is understanding what you can still do, and what you’re not allowed to do. Once you know the rules during Nyepi, you can plan properly and figure out how to enjoy the day. 

Hindu holding offerings during the traditional Nyepi celebration in Bali. Ogoh ogoh is a tradition on Nyepi eve.

What you need to know about Nyepi 2020 - The rules

The Day of Silence only lasts for 24 hours. For Hindus, Nyepi means strictly no work, no electricity, no traveling, no entertainment.  As tourists, you need to respect the traditions and make sure you are following the rules. Here are the main rules for Nyepi:

Stay inside

Villagers and tourist guides say bad spirits are supposed to think Bali has been abandoned.

No one is allowed out on the streets or on the beach during Nyepi. The “Pecalang” - local security guards - are outside to make sure the tradition is respected. 

Stay confined to the grounds of your hotel! 

Shops are closed

Shops, restaurants, and offices are shut down.

Everything, from the smallest mini mart to the biggest office, is not functioning. So make sure you have whatever you need for a day at home!

No vehicles allowed

Only emergency vehicles are allowed to operate, other motorcycles and cars are not allowed on the road. It’s a great restriction which also benefits the planet: less consumption of gas and energy, leading to lower pollution levels!

Phone and internet connection

Local TV stations shut down, but phone and internet connection for both landlines and wireless stay on.

You can continue using your devices as usual if you need to. Just make sure you’re not visible from the outside!

Airport is closed

Ngurah Rai International Airport ceases its activity - there is no way to fly in or out of Bali on that day.

Have you ever heard of a whole airport freezing services for twenty-four hours each year?! Now yes. 

Non-Hindu residents and tourists are not exempt from the restrictions. Although they are free to do as they wish inside their hotels, it’s best to honor the sacred day making by making minimum noise or light.

Woman in an infinity pool in Bali, overlooking palm trees. Resorts in Bali are some of the best quality hotels in Indonesia.

What to do for Nyepi 2020?

“Ok. Got it. But what can I do for Nyepi 2020? How do I embrace this Balinese tradition?” 

Watch traditional Balinese celebrations on Nyepi’s eve 

The evening before is all noise and celebration.

“Ogoh-ogoh” are giant papier-mâché effigies that are creatively built and burnt to ward off demons. At dark, locals loudly carry it through villages to an open field burning.  They hold bamboo light torches, emphasizing dramatic effect.

That parade symbolizes the exorcism. And yes, it’s a pretty impressive ritual to watch.

Traditional parade of giant Ogoh Ogoh can be watched in Ubud, Kuta, Denpasar and many other villages in Bali.

Enjoy a screen-free day

How about time for self-reflection? Nowadays we all spend too much time on our phones, TV, and computers. Nyepi is a great moment to turn off your devices and recharge. Chill, read a book, meditate, do yoga. Reflect on the past year. Enjoy the day of silence on your own and stargaze. 

It’s the best day of the year in Bali to watch the most immersive night sky. The brightest stars are shining, with zero light pollution.

Woman meditating alone. Bali is a sacred place for yoga and meditation. Nyepi, day of silence,  is the perfect Balinese tradition to practice.

Spend quality time with your loved ones

For those who cringe at the thought of silence and inactivity, plan a Nyepi day sleepover! Invite your friends, stock up some snacks, and watch some old movies. Play cards. Is there a better moment for long, deep conversations?

Get a full-day treatment at your hotel

You have to stay indoors, so let’s get pampered! Most hotels offer Nyepi day packages. A relaxing holiday in Indonesia isn’t complete anyway without a spa day! Check out our tips for the best spa hotels in Bali.

Nyepi 2020, Bali’s day of silence, is a great moment to enjoy a spa treatment. Most hotels offer Nyepi packages.

Go to another island

If after all, you really don’t think that you can survive Nyepi day, or if you think you’d rather not waste a single day in your room for Nyepi on your seven-day vacation in Bali - here are tons of non-Hindu islands to visit in Indonesia. 

Escape to the Gili islands, and enjoy the clear blue lagoon beaches sipping a cocktail! That’s also a great place for scuba diving, so it’s worth checking out.

Blue Lagoon beach can be found in Indonesia. Gili island, close to Bali, is a perfect getaway if you don’t want to enjoy Nyepi 2020.

So yes, Bali, the super popular vacation destination, falls dead silent for 24 hours on Nyepi day. But there are a million ways to experience this beautiful tradition. What will be yours?

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