Hindu Press International
Bali Island Shuts Down for Hindu New Year
BALI (March 23, 2012) : Shops were shuttered Friday and many tourists stayed inside their hotels as the Indonesian holiday island of Bali closed down for a day to mark the Hindu new year.
More than 2,500 police dressed in traditional black-and-white batik sarongs guarded the island to ensure there was no activity in the streets on the day of reflection, known as Nyepi. Bali's international airport in Denpasar was also shut, with almost 300 flights cancelled over a 24-hour period.
Around 35,000 passengers normally fly into Denpasar each day, airport officials said. Vehicles were not allowed on the streets, and TV and radio were cut off.
"Other than police, there is no one outside, nothing at all to do," said Nyoman Sumaya, a receptionist at the beachfront Oberoi Hotel in the busy tourist district of Seminyak. "We informed all our guests that they could not leave the hotel or even sit on the beach out front."On Thursday night, locals paraded effigies of demons known as ogoh-ogoh, before setting them alight to symbolise renewal and purification, but on Nyepi night, the island blacks out as lights must stay switched off.
[HPI note: Dont' miss Hinduism Today's special issue on Bali here ]
See a slidewhow with extrordinary photos of Nyepi here.
The comments are owned by the author. We aren't responsible for their content.