The last two weeks have been a delicious adventure in Bali, thanks to our hosts Rob and Stacey from Arcangelo Productions. "Hosts" is too formal of a word; they have become family and part of our bonding occurred on the Balinese New Year called Nyepi (pronounced Nippy). This is the day when Bali shuts down - even the airport! - and all are confined to their homes where quiet prevails and no lights are permitted.
There were many ceremonies leading up to this day, and one of them is Melasti or Mekiyis. For this occasion there is a long procession to the sea, populated by a gamelin orchestra and members of nearby villages who carry their temple accessories. Once they get to the beach, there is some playful running with the shrines before prayers are offered to the sea. Because we are used to saying "Happy New Year" or "Merry Christmas" we asked locals what they say to each other on that day. They would laugh, not quite sure why that was so important to us. They don't share our need to acknowledge a special day with a special greeting. So we took it upon ourselves to say "Happy Nyepi" to each other and jokingly wonder what gifts were under our non-existent Nyepi Tree.
Here are a few photos from this event. I am grateful to the Balinese for not feeling threatened or imposed upon by cameras on this sacred day.