Nyepi, the Balinese 'Day of Silence'

Every year, Hindus on the Indonesian island of Bali celebrate Nyepi, the Balinese New Year's Day. Nyepi is a day of silence, reserved for self-reflection, where people stay home and are not allowed to use lights, start fires, work, travel or enjoy entertainment -- even tourists are asked not to leave their hotels. However, the days surrounding Nyepi are anything but silent - several rituals of offering and cleansing take place before and after New Year's Day, to rid worshipers of past evils and bestow good fortune in the year ahead. Devotees burn huge demonic effigies, whip each other with fiery coconut husks, give prayers and offerings, and young couples are doused with water during a lively kissing festival. Gathered here are images from Nyepi rituals in Bali and other parts of Indonesia over the past few years.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Andres Kudacki / AP

    Photos of the Week: World Cup, Plymouth Pilgrim, German Sunlight

    A sunset in the Caribbean, blackouts in Ukrainian cities, a Thanksgiving turkey at the White House, a memorial for the victims of a shooting in Colorado Springs, and much more

  • BackyardProduction / iStockphoto / Getty

    Autumn Colors and Autumn Chill

    One last look at the colorful beauty of this autumn, seen in cities and countryside vistas across the Northern Hemisphere

  • Jim Watson / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Camel Race, Sea Horse, Illusion Room

    Artwork by Banksy in the ruins of Ukraine, a gaggle of geese in Prague, liberation in Ukraine’s Kherson region, early Christmas decorations in Paris, and much more

  • Alessandro Masiero / Natural Landscape Photography Awards

    Winners of the 2022 Natural Landscape Photography Awards

    Winners and runners-up from this year’s landscape-photography competition