Balinese New Year
Every city has kind of a birth story. So does Ubud.
In the 8th century, a Javanese priest came across a mountain valley, where two branches of a river met. The whole valley was surrounded by plants with healing herbs. The priest used the herbs to make medicine.
He was sure that this was a healing place and therefore named it “Ubad” which means medicine. He built a temple; Gunung Lebah in the mountain valley located in Campuhan and declared it a holy place. Until today pilgrims come to Ubud to seek for meditation and spirituality.
Take the stairs down from the bridge on the main road. Walk around the temple surroundings and enjoy the greenness of the river valley.
Back in Mar' 2017 in Ubud Bali...
It’s our third time in four years celebrating the Balinese New Year. There’s so much fun, and it’s a great way to explore the Balinese spirituality. We learnt the Balinese philosophy “Tri Hita Karana” this year, it guides many aspects of Balinese life, from daily rituals to architecture.
It is derived from the Balinese spiritualism and beliefs, which promotes harmony among fellow human beings through communal cooperation and promoting compassion; harmony towards God, manifested in numerous rituals and offerings to appease deities; and harmony with their environment, which strife to conserve the nature and promote the sustainability and balance of the environment.
Tri Hita Karana is credited for the island's prosperity as a whole, its relatively stable record of development, environmental practices, and the overall quality of life for its residents.
Our village started the Ogoh Ogoh creation around 2 months back; we saw it from the ground up. The main purpose of the making of Ogoh-ogoh is the purification of the natural environment of any spiritual pollutants emitted from the activities of living beings. On Nyepi eve, the activity will take up the whole streets and the Ogoh Ogoh will be burnt in the end.
Perang Api (Fire War)
Using fire balls of dried coconut husks, the men throw the flaming balls at each other symbolizing the courage to drive demons away. The sparks symbolizes that a man's biggest enemy is himself and when he can overcome this, he will have the ultimate happiness. Sure they will, pretty scary.
Nyepi is a day of silence, fasting, and meditation for the Balinese. Nyepi is a day reserved for self-reflection, and as such, anything that might interfere with that purpose is restricted. The main restrictions are no lighting fires; no working; no entertainment or pleasure; no traveling. Even the airport will be shut for 24 hours.