Nyepi or known as silence day is the Hindu New Year according to the Saka (lunar) calendar. In contrast to the New Year celebration every 1st of January following the Christian calendar which is celebrated in full fanfare, the Saka New Year is celebrated with silence. No activities outside the house are allowed during this day, all public services except the hospitals will be closed. During Nyepi all Hindu people are not allowed to do some activities such as "Amati Geni", means no fire symbolized by not turning on the lights during Nyepi, "Amati Lelanguan" no riotous or fun, then "Amati Lelungan" not allowed to travel, and "Amati Karya" which is not allowed to work.
There are several series of ceremonies performed by the Hindus especially in Bali before the Nyepi day.
Three or two days before Nyepi, the Hindu people do sanctification by performing Melasti ceremony which can be also called Melis / Mekiyis. On that day, praying and worship in the temple will be paraded for procession in the beach or lake in purpose to purify all leteh (sin) in man and nature.
The day before Nyepi, during the "Tilem Sasih Kesanga" (death moon of the 9th), the Hindu people will perform the ceremony of Bhuta Yadnya at all levels of society, by taking part of the Caru (offerings) according to their ability. The purpose is the sanctification of Bhuta Kala (bad spirit) and hoping for all leteh (sin) to be forgiven. Bhuta Yadnya ceremony is addressed to Sang Bhuta Raja, Bhuta Kala and Bhatara Kala, pleading that they will not disrupt the human.
The next ceremony is Pengerupukan. During this ceremony the people will spread rice, turn on all the light in the house and make fire, and at the same time hitting any objects to create noise. The activities is to cast out Bhuta Kala (the bad spirit) from the house, yard or surrounding area.
In Bali, Pengerupukan will be celebrating with Ogoh Ogoh (monsters made from bamboo and papier-mÃ¢chÃ©) the parade manifestation of Bhuta Kala will be done around the neighborhood and in the street, then the Ogoh Ogoh will be burned. The purpose is same, to cast out all the Bhuta Kala from the surrounding area.
The Nyepi Day
The next day, the New Year day according to lunar calendar (date 1, the 10th month), comes the Nyepi Day. No activities for the next 24 hours. On this day all the Hindu will implement "Catur Brata Penyepianâ. They believe that on this day if the island is quiet and dark (looks like uninhabited), the bad spirits will leave and the New Year will start in peace.
Ngembak Geni (Ngembak Fire)
The last series of the Lunar New Year celebration is a day that falls on the Geni Ngembak (day 2 of the New Year). On this day all Hindu peoples will visit their families, friends and neighbors to give thanks and forgive to each otherâs, so that the new year will start with new life because all human beings as the creation of the Sanghyang Widhi Wasa (God) should be love one another, forgive all the mistakes and errors therefore can live in harmony and peace.