Translated from German, Zeitgeist means "the spirit of the moment", and is the key principle underpinning AYANA's service philosophy. Here, we share our inside tips and favorite haunts to help you experience the AYANA Zeitgeist.
Have you ever heard of an island that completely shuts down, where there are no activities, no people and transportation on the streets, television and radios are off, no stores are open and even the airport is closed?
That’s Bali during Nyepi, which falls on 21 March this year.
Nyepi is New Year’s Day for Balinese Hindus. And while most other cultures mark their New Year with a vivacious evening that ends with fireworks, the Balinese celebrate in silence. Because we believe that Nyepi is the day to purify ourselves with Catur Brata rituals consisting of: Amati Geni (no fire or electricity), Amati Karya (no activity), Amati Lelunganan (no noise or travelling), and Amati Lelanguan (no pleasure or self-entertainment). We observe these rituals to prepare our spiritual readiness for all the challenges that the new year will bring.
In this way, we can say that Nyepi is the most important day of purification in Bali. We believe the island must be weary from working hard to please its visitors, and the New Year is the time for the island to enjoy a ‘day-off’ to rest.
But while Nyepi itself is a ‘Day of Silence’, the day before Nyepi, 20 March, will be a day of noise and rowdiness. Across the island, villagers will join an ‘ogoh-ogoh’ parade, where enormous papier-mache statues of demons will be paraded around the streets with loud music and dancing, to wake up the evil spirits. The idea is to rouse the evil spirits and trick them into thinking there is a big party, and then be silent for the next 24 hours, so that they go looking for their party elsewhere, on another island!
At AYANA Resort and Spa Bali, we have our own ogoh-ogoh parade within the resort grounds, and then from that evening Nyepi’s silence rituals begin. Although guest must remain within the resort grounds for the 24-hour period, we still have plenty of recreation available. Ten of our 15 dining venues will still be open, lights will still be on (albeit dimly-lit), televisions in rooms can be used for movies, and our resort’s complimentary shuttle will still operate between pools at AYANA and RIMBA Jimbaran Bali by AYANA. Make sure you stay up to get your seat at RIMBA Lobby’s sunken lounge to gaze at the gazillion of stars above, to complete your Nyepi escape!
P.S.: Here are some reasons of why Nyepi is the best time to visit Bali: