How do you celebrate the New Year and when is it?
This varies from culture to culture and calendar to calendar.
Whether it be Chinese with colourful dragon parades or the Thai New Year ‘ Songkran’ with three days of water fights and fun, celebrating new beginnings is filled with symbolism and a chance for everyone to come together and enjoy tradition. It can also be a spiritual time of deep meditation and the turning of new leaves.
Today is Nyepi. The Balinese day of silence and the first day of the New Year according to the Hindu calendar.
The celebrations began on the day we arrived (Two days before NYEPI), with the cleansing of home and temples and then yesterday’s, Ogoh Ogoh parade, exorcising the evil spirits from all the homes.
Each household made small temples on the street before sunset with offerings and fire to cleanse their homes and eradicate all things negative from their lives.
The Ogoh Ogoh parade took place after sunset, yesterday and is an integral and exciting event of the Balinese New Year – the most widely celebrated holiday in Bali.
The Ogoh Ogoh parade itself is made up monsters made from different materials and carried on bamboo sticks, it is accompanied by Balinese percussion and oozes fun and enthusiasm.
Here is a you tube video of the Ogoh Ogoh parade:
The day after the parade is Nyepi, (which is today,) the first day of a New Year. The silence allows each person to reflect and is a chance for self introspection to find methods of increasing one’s own tolerance, compassion and love.
Even the airport is closed today, nobody is allowed to leave their homes and everyone is expected to be silent…try telling our four year old that!!
I really have to finish there, as there was some talk of the electricity being turned off too and I better go and help Lutz keep those kids quiet……Happy New Year everyone!