27 February 2016
25 February 2016
20 February 2016
On March 9 this year, Balinese Hindus will be celebrating Saka New Year 1938, known locally as Nyepi (Hindu Day of Silence).
In other traditions and cultures, the New Year is marked by lavish and glittering fiestas. Not in Bali! The Saka New Year is seen as the door to refreshed spiritual enlightenment and an enriched soul. It is a time for contemplation and the four abstinences of Nyepi — amati geni (refraining from lighting fires and turning on lights); amati karya (refraining from work); amati lelanguan (refraining from indulgence) and amati lelungan (refraining from traveling outside the house) for 24 hours.
Immediately prior to the Day of Silence, Balinese Hindus hold a series of elaborate rituals, starting with melasti — a procession to the sea, or closest river or lake, to purify the body and soul, as well as all the temple paraphernalia; mecaru — cleansing homes and villages to appease evil spirits that could disrupt the harmony of the universe and, on New Year’s Eve, Tawur Kesanga, or Pengerupuk, to drive away all the evil spirits.
Pengerupuk takes the form of boisterous processions organized by each hamlet’s male youth group, with the evil spirits represented by ogoh-ogoh — gigantic, hideous caricatures of evil with bulging eyes, enormous bodies and scary faces.
The ogoh-ogoh parades have become a tourist attraction in their own right and well-known parade locations are inundated every year with locals, domestic and foreign tourists keen to see this energetic ritual that lasts into the night.
On Nyepi, the whole island ceases all activities — there are no inbound or outbound flights, the ports and harbors are closed, no-one is allowed to travel outside their household complex or hotel and even cable television channels are suspended between 6 a.m. on March 9 and 6 a.m. the following day. This “inactive world” is intended to convince any evil spirits that Bali is uninhabited and of no interest, while coincidentally significantly reducing the island’s air and noise pollution.
The uniqueness of Nyepi has attracted the interest of many local and international scholars, who study the impact of this incredible religious event on the people’s physical and spiritual wellbeing, as well as on society and the environment.
While the locals, including non-Hindu residents, are required to stay home and abide by customary village laws, visitors may continue their activities, provided they stay inside the hotel premises.
Many hotels, resorts and villas offer special Nyepi packages for tourists choosing to experience this special occasion in Bali.
More at www.thejakartapost.com
17 February 2016
14 February 2016
11 February 2016
07 February 2016
Denpasar (ANTARA News) - The management of Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali has installed two thermoscanners to measure body temperatures, in a bid to prevent the spread of the feared Zika virus.
Arriving international passengers will be screened to determine whether they might be carrying the infection.
Since the monitors were installed, the airport management has not discovered any passengers registering high body temperatures.
However, if passenger with high temperatures and possible carriers of the Zika virus are detected, plans call for them to be brought to an isolation room or nearest hospital.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared a global emergency in acting to control the outbreak of Zika virus.
Officials note that the virus has been spread by the Aedes aegepty mosquitos, causing high fevers and rashes among infected people.
In Jakarta, Health Minister Nila F Moeloek warned pregnant women to place mosquito netting in their bedrooms as protection from the Zika virus.
The spread of the virus-like dengue fever occurred in several countries in Africa, America, and Asia Pacific.
02 February 2016
Monday February 08 Chinese New Year Imlek.
Wednesday March 09 Hari Raya Nyepi Balinese New Year
Friday March 25 Good Friday International Catholic holiday
Sunday May 01 Labour Day World Labour day
Thursday May 05 Ascension Day 40 days after Easter
Thursday May 05 Isra Miraj
Sunday May 22 Waisak Day Birth of Buddha
Monday July 04 Cuti Bersama Extra holiday
Tuesday July 05 Cuti Bersama Extra holiday
Wednesday July 06 Hari Raya Puasa End of Ramadan
Thursday July 07 Hari Raya Puasa Eid Al-Fitr
Friday July 08 Cuti Bersama Extra holiday
Wednesday August 17 Independence Day Marks the start of the revolution against the Netherlands in 1945
Monday September 12 Idul Adha
Sunday October 02 Muharram Islamic New Year
Monday December 12 Maulidur Rasul Marks the birth of the Islamic prophet Muhammed
Sunday December 25 Christmas Day
Monday December 26 Cuti Bersama Extra holiday