BALI, INDONESIA, March 19, 2015 (Jakarta Post): Preparations are gearing up for Nyepi, the Balinese Hindu Day of Silence, which falls on Saturday. This year’s celebration will offer another demonstration of Bali’s strong interfaith relations, as the celebration coincides with the Catholic period of Lent, where adherents fast and make penitence in preparation for Easter. Chairman of Bali’s Interfaith Communication Forum (FKUB), Ida I Dewa Gede Ngurah Swasta, said all interfaith leaders had pledged to safeguard Nyepi.
During Nyepi, Balinese Hindus will celebrate the Caka New Year through meditation and contemplation and refrain from using electricity, making fires, traveling outside homes or participating in entertainment activities. Visitors and non-Hindu residents are expected to show respect for Nyepi by following rules set by the local authorities and traditional village guards. The local administration said Bali would be closed for 24 hours during the holiday. All of the island’s gates-of-entry, including the Ngurah Rai International Airport and three major ferry harbors, would also be closed from 6 a.m. on March 21 until 6 a.m. the following day.