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Nyepi Day 2024: How to Honor the Bali Day of Silence

When I visited Bali for the first time, I was excited to explore the beautiful island. However, on a Thursday morning in Sanur, I noticed an unusual silence outside our villa.

As we were getting ready to head out, the villa staff informed us that it was Nyepi, the Balinese Day of Silence, and the entire island was at a standstill.

I spoke to the staff and asked if we could rent a scooter and visit a nearby beach. They apologized and informed me that it was impossible.

During this Bali Day of Silence, there’s no light, no noise, and you can’t even leave your accommodation.

Hotel in Sanur during Nyepi
It’s mandatory to stay inside during the Bali Day of Silence

Although it may seem like an inconvenience, Nyepi is a special time to disconnect from all the noise and reconnect with oneself. Here is what you need to know to honor the sacred day of silence in Bali so you won’t be as surprised as we were.

When Is Nyepi Day 2024 and How Long Does It Last?

Nyepi falls on the day after the dark moon of the spring equinox, so the date changes each year. Nyepi 2024 will start on Monday, March 11 at 6 a.m. and will end on Tuesday, March 12 at 6 a.m.

Throughout this time, the entire island comes to a complete stop. Everyone on the island should remain inside with lights turned off and remain in silence.

Empty Streets of Bali during Balinese New Year
Empty Streets of Bali during Nyepi, Balinese New Year

What Is Nyepi Bali 2024? Understanding Bali’s Day of Silence

Nyepi is Bali’s annual Day of Silence, a day of fasting, silence, and meditation. It is a day to reflect and reconnect spiritually. It’s believed that by being silent for a day, you can hear the divine whispers of the gods more clearly.

Leading up to Nyepi, there are colorful festivals and parades. But once the sun rises at 6 a.m., the entire island comes to a standstill.

Offerings in front of houses and establishments during Nyepi Bali 2024

The Meaning and History Behind Nyepi

Nyepi has been observed for centuries and marks the Balinese New Year. Some countries in Asia like China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and even Bali use different calendars to mark the start of the year. Cambodian New Year, for example, happens in April.

Bali, a province in Indonesia, shuts down all lights and sounds, stops all traffic, and abandons all worldly activities to focus on connecting more closely with God and introspection. The word Nyepi means “to keep silent” in the local language.

The day before Nyepi, villagers parade a giant statue made of bamboo, known as Ogoh-ogoh, in the main street of the village to exorcise the devil.

This statue represents the evil spirits in their environment that must be eliminated to bring balance and harmony between man, God, and their surroundings.

Ogoh-ogoh statues are burnt during Ngerupuk, which takes place on the eve of Nyepi, as a symbol of getting rid of “bhuta kala” or demons.

Ogoh-ogoh are statues built for the Ngrupuk parade, happening on the eve of Nyepi

The Pecalang, traditional Balinese security forces, ensure road safety and prohibit any activities that disturb the Bali Day of Silence.

Non-Hindus are also requested to stay indoors to respect this significant day. Violators of these restrictions face penalties determined by local villages.

The day after Nyepi, known as Ngusaba Desa, is when Balinese Hindus hold purification rituals and ceremonies to welcome the new year.

Nyepi Day 2024 Dos and Don’ts

During this Bali Day of Silence 2024, there are some important dos and don’ts to keep in mind to properly honor this sacred day.

What is Allowed

You are allowed to have low lighting like table lamps, phones, and laptops inside your hotel room at night. Just keep the curtains drawn and avoid any bright lighting that may disturb others outside.

You can pre-order room service or eat pre-prepared food – but the hotel staff will not be actively cooking or cleaning on this day.

What is Prohibited

No one, including tourists, is allowed to leave their accommodation or participate in any activities. This means:

  • No going outside or walking around
  • No driving or taking taxis/rideshares
  • No loud noises, music, partying, or any kind of entertainment
  • No phone calls, emails, or social media
  • No shopping, as all stores and restaurants will be closed

The goal of Nyepi is to have a day of total peace, reflection, and fasting. Pecalang security officers patrol the streets to enforce these rules.

As a tourist, the most respectful thing is to avoid any kind of disturbance or violation of this day. Stay in your hotel room, reflect in silence, and appreciate this unique cultural tradition.

How Locals Observe Nyepi Day 2024 in Bali

Local Balinese Hindus observe Nyepi, also known as Seclusion Day, each year to reconnect with God through self-discipline, purification, and austerity. It is a day of self-reflection, fasting, and abstaining from worldly pleasures.

In the days leading up to this Seclusion Day in Bali, villages make ogoh-ogoh, statues symbolizing evil spirits, which they parade through the streets.

They do this to purge Bali of malevolent forces and purify the island in preparation for this Balinese Day of Silence.

Ogoh-ogoh during Ngrupuk parade

When Nyepi begins at 6 a.m., locals follow four prohibitions: no fire, light, physical activity, or entertainment. This means no lights, cooking fires, or traffic. Everyone stays indoors for 24 hours of meditation and fasting.

What are the 4 rules of Nyepi 2024?

The Bali-Hindu principle known as “Catur Brata” outlines the four main prohibitions that devout Balinese followers must adhere to during Nyepi Day 2024. These include the following:

  1. Amati geni – refraining from igniting fires or lighting anything
  2. Amati Karya – signifying a break from work activities
  3. Amati lelungan – staying within the confines of one’s home
  4. Amati lelanguan – avoiding pleasurable activities and entertainment.

These restrictions are integral to the observance of Nyepi Day 2024, symbolizing a time of self-reflection and spiritual devotion for the Balinese people.

Experiencing Nyepi Day 2024 as a Tourist: What to Expect

Experiencing Nyepi as a tourist in Bali can be a unique cultural experience, but also challenging if you’re not prepared for what to expect on the Bali’s Silent Day 2024.

Respect the prohibitions against going outside, using electronics, and lighting fires for 24 hours. However, many hotels make exceptions for tourists and provide wifi and charge devices in rooms.

Chicken Satay Bali
Check with your hotel for meals during Nyepi

Some resorts organize special retreats with traditional Balinese ceremonies and spa treatments, yoga, and meditation. But in general, expect a day of no service, no WiFi, and no leaving your room.

No loud music, no cars honking, just the sounds of nature. I spent most of the day in silence, taking naps, and reflecting in my hotel room.

If being confined to your hotel room for an entire day sounds difficult, you may want to avoid traveling to Bali during the week of Nyepi Day 2024. But if you’re open to immersing yourself in the spiritual culture, it can be a meaningful part of your trip.

What to Do during Nyepi

1. Watch the Ogoh-Ogoh parade the night before Nyepi 2024

These huge papier-mâché effigies are paraded through the streets to ward off evil spirits. The parade starts at 7 p.m. with locals carrying the Ogoh-Ogoh on their shoulders, dancing to traditional Balinese music.

The parade symbolizes the burning of “demons” and “bad spirits” of the old year before the silence begins.

Ogoh-ogoh Statues
Ogoh-ogoh Statues
Ogoh-ogoh Parade
Ogoh-ogoh Statues

2. Meditate, do yoga, read books, and reflect

Nyepi Bali 2024 is an opportunity to rest, reflect, and renew alongside the local community. Embrace this special time of silence and stillness. Turn off your devices, open your mind, and experience Bali in a whole new way.

3. Respect Bali’s Silent Day

The least we can do as a tourist is to respect local traditions. Avoid noise, activities and even eating in public that would disturb the locals.

4. Watching the starry night sky

Stargazing without the usual light pollution is a perfect activity during Nyepi 2024. Look outside your balcony and be amazed at the beauty of the night sky.

Starry Night Bali during Nyepi
Starry Night during the Bali’s Silent Day

5. See the Ngempak Geni

Ngempak Geni is where small bamboo cannons are fired to signal the end of the day of silence. Hearing the loud bangs at midnight is a dramatic way to mark the return of normal life in Bali.

Firing of bamboo cannons during Ngempak Geni

Where to Stay During Nyepi Day 2024 in Bali

When Nyepi 2024 rolls around, finding accommodation in Bali can be tricky since many places are required to close for the day. Most hotels remain open (yet often get fully booked) and even offer special Nyepi packages to make the most of the experience.

Bali Hotels and Resorts with Nyepi Package 2024

AYANA Resort and Spa Bali is a luxurious 5-star hotel located in Jimbaran that provides a Nyepi package. For around USD 250 a night, you get a one-bedroom villa, daily breakfast, and access to resort facilities like pools, gyms, and restaurants that remain open during Nyepi 2024. It’s a perfect way to relax in seclusion while still enjoying world-class amenities.

The Colony Hotel Bali in Seminyak is a hip boutique hotel that stays open for Nyepi. Room rates start around USD 100, and the hotel organizes special cultural activities like ogoh-ogoh parades, Balinese dance performances, and traditional BBQs to give tourists an authentic sense of the celebration.

The vibrant Seminyak area also comes alive again right after Nyepi ends, so it’s a great place to be based.

Bali Dynasty Resort in South Kuta offers a good value 2-night Nyepi package for around USD100 if you’re on a budget. You get buffet meals, cultural entertainment, and use of resort facilities.

While not ultra-luxurious, the resort has nice Balinese-style rooms, expansive gardens, and pools to enjoy in peace during the Silent Day in Bali.

Find other hotels in Bali that are open for Nyepi Day 2024:

Things to Do Before and After Nyepi Day 2024

Here are a few important things you’ll want to do to prepare and honor this sacred holiday.

Shop and Stock Up

The day (or days) before Nyepi 2024, head to a supermarket or convenience store and stock up on snacks, food, water, and any essential supplies you may need during the 24 hours of self-reflection.

Since you’ll be confined to your hotel grounds with no access to stores or restaurants, be sure to purchase enough to get you through the day.

Cash is king in Bali, so also visit an ATM to withdraw some Rupiah in case stores aren’t able to process credit cards.

Book Treatments in Advance

If you’re staying at a resort, I highly recommend booking any spa treatments, meals, or activities well before Nyepi 2024. The resort staff will also be observing the day of silence, so most amenities and services will be unavailable.

Booking treatments like a Balinese massage or facial ahead of time ensures you’ll have plans for the day without leaving your hotel.

Book Tours in Advance

If you want to do any sightseeing or activities before or after Nyepi 2024, book them ahead of time. No one, including tourists, is allowed on the streets or beaches on this Day, and wifis are cut so plan accordingly.

The day after Bali’s Silent Day, life returns to normal in Bali, and tours, attractions, and transportation options resume as usual.

Want to save on your trip after Nyepi Bali 2024? Book with Klook and use my code GLADISTRAVELS to get 5% off hotels and 3% off on activities and tours in Bali. No minimum spend, and you can use it up to two times per user!

Let friends and family know you won’t have cell service for 24 hours. Wi-Fi and mobile networks are turned off. Inform your loved ones and any remote work that you will be off the radar for a day.

Respect the Rituals during Nyepi Day 2024

The most important thing is showing respect for the local traditions. On Nyepi Day 2024, avoid leaving your hotel, using electronics, and lights, or making loud noises.

Honor this by meditating, relaxing, or reading in your room. It’s a unique opportunity to disconnect from technology and reconnect with yourself.

My Experience Observing Nyepi in Bali

As a tourist in Bali during Nyepi Day, I didn’t know what to expect. Although I was there for less than a week, experiencing this Balinese “Day of Silence turned out to be a highlight of my trip.

On the eve before the Balinese Day of Silence, I witnessed the noisy Ogoh-Ogoh parades. The next day, the island went completely silent.

At first, the quiet felt strange. But soon I found it peaceful. I spent the day reading, journaling, and reflecting.

Without the usual distractions, I could turn inward. This started my interest in meditation and stillness which inspired me to pursue my career in leading retreats and teaching yoga.

Nyepi 2024 FAQs: All About Bali’s Day of Silence

Can tourists participate?

Yes, all people on the island, including visitors, must observe Nyepi. No exemptions are made.

What should I do during Nyepi 2024?

Stay in your hotel room, villa, or accommodation. Refrain from any noise or activities. Meditate, read, and sleep. It’s a day for inward reflection.

Will there be any services available during Nyepi Day 2024?

No. Everything shuts down for the day. Stock up on food and supplies beforehand.

When does Nyepi 2024 start and end?

It lasts from 6 AM until 6 AM the next day. The exact dates change each year based on the Balinese calendar.

What happens after Nyepi 2024?

Life returns to normal. Shops, restaurants, and the airport reopened. The festive spirit continues for a few more days.

Can you talk during Nyepi 2024?

During this sacred time, interactions with hotel staff are limited. Hindu Balinese families typically observe their rituals at home. It’s a period of deep reflection and devotion for them.

They avoid conversations with each other, answering phones, or receiving guests. There is a serene absence of lights, cars, motorbikes, and people on the roads and beaches.

Is Nyepi only in Bali?

Although Nyepi is recognized as a national holiday all across Indonesia, it’s essentially a Hindu ceremony that holds its significance mainly in Bali.

Is Nyepi celebrated in Gili Islands?

If you’re not up for spending the entire day at your hotel without electricity and the internet during Nyepi, you have an alternative. Many tourists choose to take a short trip to Gili Islands for a few days. Most of the residents in Gili Islands practice Islam, so they don’t celebrate the Hindu holiday of Nyepi there.

What happens if you go out during Nyepi Day 2024?

If you try to go out, you will be stopped by hotel staff and pecalang or local police. They’re always keeping an eye out for rule-breakers. Also, it’s not a great idea to book a flight on Nyepi day because there won’t be any plane landings or take-offs for a full 24 hours.

Happiness On The Way Tips

Nyepi offered a chance for quiet contemplation I didn’t know I needed. The peaceful and serene atmosphere stayed with me even after I left the island. Here are some tips for those who wish to experience the same sense of tranquility:

Do a digital detox. When was the last time you spent a day without your phone and social media? Take a break from technology, recognize your attachment to it, and enjoy the freedom of being disconnected, even for just a day. Use this time for self-reflection by reading, meditating, journaling, or doing yoga.

Watch the sunrise and sunset. Take in the beauty of nature in its stillness and allow yourself to be immersed in its calming power. Observe how this can easily bring you into the present moment and a state of bliss. 

Learn the meaning and purpose behind this Day. Unlike most cultures that celebrate the New Year with noise and festivities, the Balinese welcome it with silence and reflection. Consider taking a different approach to the new year by reflecting on the past year and mindfully planning for the future.

Sanur Beach Nyepi
Once a year, the whole lively Bali becomes silent for 24 hours

Conclusion

In the end, Nyepi was a unique experience I’ll never forget. If you happen to be in Bali during the Balinese Day of Silence, embrace the opportunity to slow down, turn inward, and experience Bali in a way most tourists don’t.

Read next: 75+ Best Slow Travel Quotes To Inspire You

I left Bali feeling recharged and with profound gratitude for the simple pleasures in life. Give Nyepi a chance—you just might find the silence speaks to you too. Have you experienced Nyepi? Would you be open to experiencing it?

Read More about Bali:

Slow Travel Planning Guide

✈️ How to find the best flight to Bali?

I always use Skyscanner to find cheap flights. It’s a search engine that compares prices across many airlines to get you the best deals.

🚑 Should I buy travel insurance?

Absolutely YES! For just $5-10 USD per day, SafetyWing gives you peace of mind with its affordable coverage.

📲 Where to buy a local sim in Bali?

I’ve switched to eSIMs for all my travels and it’s been a game-changer! Airalo’s eSIM offers cheap data in 200+ countries without roaming fees. Super easy to set up and top up! Get your Indonesia eSIM here.

🏩 What’s the best way to book accommodations in Bali?

It depends. Booking.com is my go-to platform for hotels and apartments. If I want to save money on hostels, I use Hostel World.

And for longer stays where I want a cozy home, I book VRBO (which is cheaper and safer than Airbnb).

🗺️ How do I find local experiences and tours?

I find the best local tours with Klook, thanks to its vast selection across Asia. Get 5% off by using the code “GLADISTRAVELS”

For truly unique and authentic local experiences, GetYourGuide is my go-to. I’ve taken cooking classes with local chefs and gone on guided tours of hidden places using both platforms. I’m really happy with how everything turned out.

🚗 Is renting a motorbike a good idea in Bali?

Absolutely! If you can drive a motorbike, I highly recommend renting one through BikesBooking. Bali doesn’t have a good public transport. We saved a lot of time and money in Bali by having a motorbike, and it was so much fun!

🏦 What is the best way to withdraw money in Bali?

I use my Wise card. Wise.com provides free global accounts and the most affordable money transfers. I can manage multiple currencies easily and withdraw cash at very low costs. Plus, I find their exchange rates are among the best available!

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13 Comments

  1. Wow! What a unique day to be in Bali and what an important article to share with travelers! I honestly had never heard of Nyepi or knew that Bali had an annual Day of Silence.

  2. I have never heard of nyepi but thank you for the all the info on it! There are so many cool aspects of Balinese culture that I love getting to learn. I think it would be really cool to experience Bali at such an enlightening time. I’d like to think I could be quiet and still for one day and incorporate the practice but I’m sure that’s easier said than done

  3. I certainly would want to know about the Day of Silence before I visited Bali. I would not want to be surprised when I found there was no light, no noise and we were confined to our accommodations. Some great tips on how to enjoy Nyepi if you visit at that time.

  4. Wow, what a transformative experience! I had no idea how complete the Nyepi shutdown would be. Thanks for the tips on how to embrace and enjoy the experience though!

  5. How interesting! On the one hand, I would love to experience this unique cultural tradition, but on the other hand, if I arrived in Bali unaware of Nyepi and had limited time to explore the island, I might feel rather frustrated. I would always respect such traditions, however. (As an aside and I mean absolutely no disrespect by this, the way you describe how everyone has to stay inside and everything stops, reminded me of the first Covid lockdown here in the UK – and that was a very eerie experience.)

  6. I have never heard of this. But as tourists we should respect national holidays of other countries. Unfortunately, we don’t always know about them until we get to the country! Thanks for such a great post explaining Nyepi.

  7. My Grab driver was telling me about this. Are Balinese allowed to eat uncooked food during this holiday?

  8. This is super fascinating. I’ve never heard of Nyepi before but learned so much. I think it’s great how it had such a positive impact on your trip!

  9. This was super interesting to read! I loved reading about Nyepi. I always think it’s important to embrace the culture you’re visiting. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  10. Important to have posts like this which help people learn about important traditions and how to best honor them

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