Bali, Nyepi – the Day of Silence

As soon as we got to Bali we were told about Nyepi, the holiday of silence. No stores are open. No one leaves the house. Silence. Today’s the day.

Here’s the view from our house to the gate of the Villa Bhuana Alit compound. Beautiful, aye?! Fish pond to the right and communal space to the left. In Bali you can always find a place to rest in the shade; these communal spaces are for everyone.

The main courtyard at Villa Bhuana Alit
The main courtyard at Villa Bhuana Alit

What might have been the front door in the past is now a beautiful piece of artful glass. We stayed in Villa Cantik in Villa Bhuana Alit.

One of the windows on our villa, Villa Cantik
One of the windows on our villa, Villa Cantik

This is looking to the right from our place. Our friend Dennis lives here on the corner.

Looking toward our neighbor's place
Looking toward our neighbor’s place

Ubud has some buildings that have fallen into disrepair or not been used for ages entirely. I loved this door, compare it to others we’ve found in Europe and it ranks highly! Great colour and awesome rough look. It’s easy to see the forest/jungle is ready to swallow anything up that isn’t constantly maintained.

A sweet door with no building, on our way to the Nyepi festival of statues
A sweet door with no building, on our way to the Nyepi festival of statues

Nyepi Parade

We walked to the centre of Ubud, the long way much to the kid’s chagrin, but once we made it (a monkey tried to rip my backpack off at one stage but wasn’t successful thank god) we saw the Ubud Palace full of the floats/statues ready to make their procession through town.

The Ubud Palace is where the Nyepi parade starts
The Ubud Palace is where the Nyepi parade starts

Lots of people milling around speaking many different languages besides Balinese Indonesian, I’m told Balinese Indonesian is similar to, but also quite different to, the national language of Indonesian. Cool what you find out when you give it an effort. Don’t be afraid to ask your locals about their language, most are happy to teach you!

One of the ten or so floats, this one has the tiger god
One of the ten or so floats, this one has the tiger god

This one caught my eye particularly, it is fierce and friendly at the same time, very much like the Balinese culture. Fun loving but steeped in tradition too.

One of the ten or so floats, this one has the tiger god
One of the ten or so floats, this one has the tiger god

Some statues/floats were so tall they got stuck in the power lines across the road. I’m amazed at how elaborate they all were. Now by this time we were all melting, it doesn’t cool off much at night in Bali and the kids were tired from our epic march (ask me about the young men setting off incredibly loud and powerful fireworks in the soccer field closer to our Villa sometime; they were no joke!)

A few random shots now from our house in Ubud. Here’s our usual breakfast staple, Daddy Pancakes. We made them the day before Nyepi so we wouldn’t have to cook anything on the day. You shouldn’t leave your house or do work of any kind on Nyepi.

Pancake brekky on Nyepi morning, made the day before
Pancake brekky on Nyepi morning, made the day before

Here I’m lying on the cool stone of our front porch and looking up at our front door.

Looking up at the front door on Nyepi
Looking up at the front door on Nyepi

There are some amazing butterflies in Bali, this one was on its last legs but we were very gentle in holding it and ooh-ing and aah-ing. Look at the colours! It’s officially the largest butterfly I’ve ever seen.

So many great sunsets at our Villa in Ubud. Funny we didn’t spend much time upstairs, but when we did we were usually treated to spectacular sunsets, and a view of the pool next door.

Sunset on Nyepi
Sunset on Nyepi

Imagine no road or people noise and add that silence to this sunset. Nyepi is a day I think anyone could benefit from. You forget how noisy life is normally but Nyepi makes you remember.

Sunset on Nyepi from the first floor balcony
Sunset on Nyepi from the first floor balcony
Sunset on Nyepi from the first floor balcony looking at our other neighbor's house
Sunset on Nyepi from the first floor balcony looking at our other neighbor’s house

What a great day! We had been warned about this day two weeks prior when we arrived, and every day after that, so it didn’t take us by surprise but it was still amazingly wonderful. This night we had another tour from Guli which saw us following fireflies! My phone camera sucks so this one blurry image will have to suffice to remember the experience:

A firefly blur at our Villa Bhuna Alit
A firefly blur at our Villa Bhuna Alit
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Nathaniel Flick

American born, Kiwi made. Bass player, black coffee, dark beer. Travelled Europe and the UK/Scotland from 2016-2018.

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