Mar 28, 2017

Spending Nyepi in Bali--Part 3, Day of Silence

As we've mentioned previously, one of the things we love about Bali is its strong culture.  While Indonesia is predominately a Muslim nation, the island of Bali is mainly Hindu.  In fact, 84% practice Hinduism, while 13% are Muslim, 2.5% Christian and 0.5% are Buddhist.  And Nyepi is the New Year for the Balinese Hindu.  Do you know how it is celebrated on this tiny island, home to over 4 million inhabitants plus tourists?  

Mar 27, 2017

Spending Nyepi in Bali--Part 2: The Ogoh Ogoh

A couple of weeks ago as we were passing by a village gathering hall in Canggu on our rented motorbike, we saw this giant headless statue, seemingly made of paper mache, painted and finished in a high gloss.  It looked like quite a lot of effort went into its creation.  We also couldn't help but notice its huge breasts and extremely long fingernails.  Then we saw the head laying near by.  It was frightening, and not at all congruent with the beautiful voluptuous body.

(Warning:  some images may be disturbing if taken out of the context of the ritual of Nyepi.)

Mar 26, 2017

Spending Nyepi in Bali--Part 1

A Melasti Ritual, Sanur Beach, Bali
We love Bali--this is no secret.  But it's not only the beach, the sun and the cheap massages that endear us; we love the Balinese culture that is ever-present in day to day life.  And on this visit, we are getting a huge dose of it.  Balinese New Year, or Nyepi, happens to occur during our time here.  It's a first for us, and it is like no other festival or holiday in the world.  There are 3 main components to Nyepi, the first of which we will describe here.