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The new year doesn't always start on Jan. 1

By: Josh Lew on Dec. 28, 2016, 12:07 p.m.
Ogoh-Ogoh statues on parade in Bali

Photo: saiko3p/Shutterstock

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Balinese New Year (March)

New year celebrations are decidedly quieter in Bali, though New Year's Eve can be quite raucous. New Year's Day, held in March, is called Nyepi. Nyepi is the quietest day of the year on the busy tourist island in Indonesia. In fact, it's known as the "Day of Silence" because all local Hindus engage in introspection, meditation and fasting. Businesses are closed to accommodate these practices, and even the airport shuts down for the day.

The day before Nyepi, Hindu communities in Bali and throughout Indonesia hold parades and perform other rituals. Some of these festivities involve carrying giant effigies called ogoh-ogoh (pictured). These are demon-like creatures that are meant to represent the evil that has built up during the year. The ogoh-ogoh are burned at the end of the night.