The island of Bali is filled with religious mysticism and ceremony. The majority of local Balinese are Hindus, and one of the most important days in their religion is the Day of Silence (Hari Raya Nyepi). The Day of Silence is celebrated every year on the Saka New Year according to the Balinese calendar. It is a day of silence and meditation, which is observed from 6AM until 6AM the next morning.
If you are a tourist, it would be best to plan your travels not to coincide with Hari Raya Nyepi — during the day, all kinds of activities and regular businesses cease to operate in Bali. Local Balinese will follow several restrictions — no lighting fires, no working, no entertainment or pleasure, no traveling, and for some no talking or eating at all. Even tho you are not expected to participate in fasting and meditation, you will be expected to stay inside your hotel or resort and not disturb the silence that engulfs the whole island. Even the beaches and streets will be off-limits, and the airport will be closed as well. The only exceptions to these prohibitions are for emergency vehicles to help life-threatening conditions and women about to give birth.
Doesn’t sound like a fun holiday now does it? Fortunately, this Day of Silence will last only for a day, and the next day social activities will quickly pick up again.