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March 05, 2019 4 min read 0 Comments

Stars during Nyepi night

The island of the Gods is getting ready to hibernate for 24 hours this week. As we dream of stargazing in complete darkness, here's our guide to a well-spent day of silence.   

It's that time of the year again. We’re approaching the Balinese new year this March, on the 7th to be exact. And the Balinese take their “new year, new me” very seriously.

The holiday is called Nyepi, and it literally means "to be quiet". It’s a day that marks the last day of the Balinese Hindu calendar. A day to self-reflect, and think of how we can be better human beings in the coming year. And it’s not just for the Hindu Balinese – everyone on the island, including tourists, are expected to participate, as all lights and the Internet are switched off for more than 24 hours. Even the international airport shuts down for a day!

Ogoh-Ogoh during Nyepi in Bali

On the eve of Nyepi, a mega-feast calledPengerupukan takes place. It’s a day of cleansing, where each village purifies itself from bad juju. A festive street parade happens on this day, with people marching down major laneways carrying a giant effigy, calledOgoh-Ogoh, on their shoulders. 

TheOgoh-Ogohs represent the demons within us (or less-than-great people and life situations) and as the night ends, these larger-than-life figures are set on fire, and the whole town watches as all that is bad in their world goes up in flames.

And then everyone goes home, closes their doors, turns off their lights, and the whole island hibernates for more than 24 hours, from sunrise to sunrise – no one leaves their homes, the airport shuts down, all lights are off, no Internet; just beautiful silence (save for the dogs and roosters). And lots and lots of stars.

At night, the island is darker than dark. It’s said that Nyepi lowers local pollution levels by up to 33%. Think Earth Hour, but super duper amplified. 

We’re very excited for March 7th to come around; to experience this life-changing silence.

Are you in Bali this Nyepi? Or maybe you're inspired to spend a weekend off the grid? Here are some ideas for what you can do to unplug:

1. Do yoga with friends, or alone

To make the most of this day of wellness, a light yoga session can do wonders. Download a guided yoga video or podcast beforehand so you don't have to go online (and risk the temptation of notifications). It doesn’t have to be a long sesh, but be sure to use your breath to bring yourself into the present with each movement.

2. Make DIY jewelry

No, we're not talking about our Build-your-Own collection. Get your hands on some rainbow-colored beads or stones, some flat-nose pliers and let your creativity flow. Check out these DIY ideas from BuzzFeed and Hello Glow, and do share pics of your creations with us!

3. Do a deep cleanse (for your house and body)

Imagine checking into a hotel room, with its fresh linen and fluffy pillows, and jumping into bed, as the aroma of rolling green hills and rainbow unicorns envelops you in a cozy cocoon. Sigh. Feel motivated to KonMari the heck out of your life yet? Channel Ms. Kondo herself by cleaning your home. Change your sheets, sweep the dust, and throw out anything that doesn't – wait for it – spark joy. Take it a notch up by doing the same for your temple, a.k.a. your body.

4. Take your time

Move slowly, eat slowly, breathe slowly… Okay, basically just be a slug. We’re so pressured by the outside world to always do do do, fast fast fast. This day, become the opposite. Say goodbye to work emails, unnecessary phone calls, and take your time to become the lazy one (we mean the lucky one). Try some moving meditation techniques while you're at it.

5. Journey down the Milky Way

At the end of the day, you get to treat yourself to an epic, interstellar ride down the Milky Way. In Bali, it’s probably the best day for the dogs to roam free, and it's also the best dog day you could ever have. After the sun sets, plant yourself on the grass, look up at the magical expanse, and reflect on how wonderfully insignificant you are, and yet, how much light you bring to the world and to those around you. With the stars brighter than ever, you're bound to become enlightened and catch some aha! moments (and perhaps a few shooting stars).

Get super-charged to unplug with some gemstones that help you detox or slow down. And through all this, don't forget the most important thing to keep in mind for this day – and we mean the absolute, most crucial thing – remember to stock up on chocolate. You never know when an emergency might come up.

Want to unplug and tune in? Spinel and quartz are great for tapping into intuition. View them and more →

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