Bali dark as Hindus commemorate seclusion day


Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA News) – The resort island of Bali remained dark on Saturday evening with Hindus, who constitute a majority of the population there, observing Seclusion Day.

On Seclusion Day, which marks the arrival of New Year 1937 in the Saka calendar, Hindus turn lights off, stop all activities, including traveling, refrain from any kind of entertainment, and stay indoors to contemplate.

All lights on streets and in houses were turned off, while hotels had been urged to block any light peeking out of their premises.

Furthermore, the thousands of temples on the island remained dark and quiet on Saturday evening to make it appear as “an island without dwellers.”

Chief of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hindus Council (PHDI), Professor Dr. Gusti Ngurah Sudiana, said that the observation of Seclusion Day was aimed at making people control lust (greed).

Hindus are obligated to observe the event, while non-Hindus on the island are expected to do the same. However, if they are unable to turn the lights of their establishments off, they are urged to prevent light from coming out of their homes.

A spokesman for the Bali branch of state electricity company PT PLN, Wayan Redika, predicted that the use of electricity on the island could drop by up to 50 percent to 425 megawatts only from the peak use of 850 megawatts due to Seclusion Day. 

Last year, power usage during the commemoration of Seclusion Day was recorded at only 390 megawatts.

Although electricity usage dropped by half, generators continued to operate well, he affirmed, adding that it was not impossible for the operation of a few to be stopped that day.

PT PLN has more than one million customers in Bali. Of these, 70 percent are companies, including HOTELS AND the Ngurah Rai Airport, while the remaining 30 percent are individual customers. 

It is these individual customers who refrained from using electricity the whole day on Saturday to commemorate Seclusion Day, Redika pointed out, adding that hotels and the Ngurah Rai Airport still needed power to carry out their operations and services.