Nyepi Day 2012: Indonesia Celebrates Balinese New Year (PHOTOS)

 
on March 23 2012 8:44 AM
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Balinese in Indonesia Friday celebrated Nyepi 2012 (New Year) with various traditional rituals. 

Nyepi is a day of silence to celebrate the Balinese New Year, meant for self-reflection, when people abstain from or are rather prohibited from using lights, work, travel or having any kind of entertainment.

On Nyepi day, the airport in Bali also remains closed. The only people who are allowed on the streets are the Pecalang, traditional security officials who patrol the streets to ensure that the prohibitions are being followed, according to Reuters.

A number of rituals mark the Balinese New Year. Women gather to prepare offerings together while men hit each other with fire. Children often take part in a ritual of carrying effigies that symbolize evil spirits.

During a special Melasti ritual, offerings are left at beach to show respect to Indonesia's supreme God Sanghyang Widhi Wasa as the owner of the land and sea.

Check out below the pictures of celebrations as Balinese New Year was observed March 23.

Nyepi Day 2012: Indonesia Celebrates Balinese New Year

A Balinese man hits another with fire during a ritual ahead of Nyepi day in Ubud Gianyar, Bali March 22, 2012. REUTERS/Beawiharta Beawiharta

Nyepi Day 2012: Indonesia Celebrates Balinese New Year

Balinese sit on Lebih beach during the Melasti ceremony ahead of Nyepi day in Gianyar district, Bali March 21, 2012. REUTERS/Beawiharta Beawiharta

Nyepi Day 2012: Indonesia Celebrates Balinese New Year

An offering is seen on Lebih beach during the Melasti ceremony ahead of Nyepi day in Gianyar district, Bali March 21, 2012. REUTERS/Beawiharta Beawiharta

Nyepi Day 2012: Indonesia Celebrates Balinese New Year

A Balinese priest sprinkles holy water at believers during the Melasti ceremony ahead of Nyepi day at Lebih beach in Gianyar district, Bali March 21, 2012. REUTERS/Beawiharta Beawiharta

Nyepi Day 2012: Indonesia Celebrates Balinese New Year

Balinese carry an Ogoh-ogoh effigy, symbolizing the evil spirit, during a ritual ahead of Nyepi day in Ubud Gianyar, Bali March 21, 2012. REUTERS/Beawiharta Beawiharta

Nyepi Day 2012: Indonesia Celebrates Balinese New Year

Balinese men carry a pig to be used as an offering while children following behind them carry an Ogoh-ogoh effigy, symbolizing the evil spirit, during a ritual ahead of Nyepi day in Ubud Gianyar, Bali March 21, 2012. REUTERS/Beawiharta Beawiharta

Nyepi Day 2012: Indonesia Celebrates Balinese New Year

Balinese gather in front of their houses to prepare offerings for a ritual ahead of Nyepi day in Ubud Gianyar, Bali March 22, 2012. REUTERS/Beawiharta Beawiharta