Mar 26, 2017

Spending Nyepi in Bali--Part 1

A Melasti Ritual, Sanur Beach, Bali
We love Bali--this is no secret.  But it's not only the beach, the sun and the cheap massages that endear us; we love the Balinese culture that is ever-present in day to day life.  And on this visit, we are getting a huge dose of it.  Balinese New Year, or Nyepi, happens to occur during our time here.  It's a first for us, and it is like no other festival or holiday in the world.  There are 3 main components to Nyepi, the first of which we will describe here.

The Melasti Ritual is performed by all the people 3-4 days prior to Nyepi.  As most Balinese do not live by the beach, each village is assigned a time at the temple by the beach closest to them.  For some, it can mean an hour's ride by motorbike away, at 1am!  

The main focus of the ritual is to cleanse themselves (mostly their feet) as well as their religious artefacts in the sea prior to welcoming the New Year.   They also make their offerings to the gods at this time.  They come dressed in their finest traditional costumes, with females wearing the kebaya (lace shirt) and males the sarong and peci (hat).

This is a pictorial of a group of villagers while they performed their Melasti Ritual--very fascinating!

Balinese women arranging the larger offerings.

A Balinese woman in her kebaya, performing her offering.

Balinese boys dressed in their sarong and peci

Performing the cleanse of the Melasti Ritual


  1. 'Glad to see you're back on the road as Bali is one of my most favourite places!

    1. Thanks! We love Bali too and being here for Nyepi 2017 has been very interesting :)