Bali’s National Day of Silence

Every year, towards the end of March, the entire island of Bali in Indonesia comes to a standstill. Shops are closed, streets are deserted, and all residents lock themselves in their houses and turn off their lights. There’s no talking, no music, no entertainment. Some people even stop eating. This day is called Nyepi, “the day of silence,” where the people of Bali meditate and reflect. The rules state no fires, no electric lights, no working, no traveling, nothing. The day of silence lasts for 24 hours from 6 a.m. to 6 a.m. The following day, festivities begin with the Balinese new year, when families and friends gather to celebrate and to ask forgiveness from one another.