BALI, INDONESIA, March 28, 2017 (CNBC): Nyepi, a Hindu celebration primarily celebrated in the Indonesian island of Bali calls for a day of silence on March 28 and is marked as time for self-reflection. The ritual mandates the absence of work, entertainment and travel, which makes for a 24-hour period during which no flights are allowed in or out, electricity use is limited and cars are prohibited on the streets. Even television provider, Indovision ceases broadcasting for the day. Hotel guests on the island are confined to their property and special arrangements have to be made for a limited staff to keep the hotels operating.
Many travel agencies and tour operators discourage bookings this time of year because of the disruption. There’s a segment of tourists, however, that actually views the day as a unique part of the culture not to be missed. “It’s one of the many elements that actually makes Bali an even more unique tourist spot, which holds special meaning to visitors as well as residents,” Dendy Kurniawan, AirAsia Group CEO for Indonesia told CNBC. “It is how culture and religious practice have been preserved through times, whilst blended perfectly with the touch of modern world.”
“It’s fascinating that an island of 4.5 million people can shut down for 24 hours,” Marian Carroll, director of public relations at Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay told CNBC, adding that it should be on every visitor’s bucket list. “It takes a huge amount of coordination and discipline. Only the Balinese could pull it off!”