As the first stars show up in the sky, the sound of the cicadas become clearer but is the frog’s choir that stands up in the night orchestra. The quietest night of the year, in all Bali island.
On the last day of the year 1939 according to the Saka calendar, the evil spirits are evoked during the Ogoh-ogoh parade that culminates with the purification ritual of the burning of the statues representing demons and Hindu mythological creatures. But just after the ceremony that reduces most of the Ogoh-ogoh to ashes, starts the Nyepi, the day of silence. During the next 24 hours, the activity in the island is reduced to the basic needs, all the inhabitants stay at home, the streets are empty, there’s no music, the lights are turned off or kept dim, the voices are kept in a low tone… not to wake up the evil spirits!
During the day the sounds that come from the kitchen where different from usual… as the task of preparing the food, dealing the pan and pot, was being done with gentleness and care. Not much more was done during the Nyepi day, with all the family gather at home, preparing the traditional complex offerings for the next days.
All the quietness on the street and the stillness of the people give, on Nyepi day space to many sounds that in this day become more clear that ever… the birds during the day that are more audacious to show off with their colorful feathers… the gentle sound of fall of the frangipani flowers… the bats during the night, moving in the thick darkness, invisible to our eyes but felt by our senses, that become sharper due to the lack of light.
The quietness of the night, without human sounds, creates an unusual feeling… a strange silence that seems not to match with an urban place… a silence heavier that usual… a thick silence that occupies all the spaces of the Universe.
But all this silence with the light turn off brings with him a sky full of stars, looking like the sky decide to light up to celebrate the beginning of a new year.
How many stars have the sky on Nyepi night?