Nyepi Day of Silence

The unique day of silence marks the turn of the Saka calendar of western Indian origin, one among the many calendars assimilated by Indonesia’s diverse cultures, and among two jointly used in Bali. The Saka is 78 years behind the Gregorian calendar, and follows a lunar sequence. Nyepi follows after a new moon.

Village meeting halls known as ‘banjar’ and streets feature papier-mâché effigies called ogoh-ogoh, built throughout the weeks leading up to the Saka New Year. Youth groups design and build their mythical figures with intricately shaped and tied bamboo framework before many layers of artwork. These artistic creations are offshoots of the celebration since its dawning in the early 80s, which stayed on to become an inseparable element in the island-wide celebration that is Nyepi Eve.

Before ‘the silence’, (more…)

Saraswati Day a ceremony devoted to God in its manifestation as God of Knowledge

When I was a kid my mother sang Balinese song to me before I go to sleep, the lyrics were something like this; sking tuhu manah guru mituturin cening jani, kaweruan luwir senjata, ne dadi prabotang sai, keanggen ngeruruh mertha, se enun ceninge urip.  Means as follows: sincerely tell you now, knowledge is a tool that you can use it every day to earn income in your lifetime. This article will remind us how the Balinese respect knowledge by celebrating Saraswati Day.
Saraswati is God’s manifestation of knowledge and wisdom. (more…)