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Nyepi Laut (silent sea day), a ceremony unique to Nusa Penida.

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

nusapenida seaweed
All activities, including seaweed harvesting,are forbidden on Nyepi Segara/Laut

Have you ever visited Bali during the month of March? If so you will probably remember Nyepi, the day of silence, perhaps the most important ceremony of the year for the Balinese people where all sound, activity and light are forbidden. Lesser known, however, is the day of the silent sea or Nyepi Laut (Nyepi Segara in Balinese), a similar tradition, but one that only exists in Nusa Penida and its two sister islands, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan.

It is held during the 4th full moon in the Balinese calendar. The upcoming Nyepi Laut date in Nusa Penida is October 11th 2022. The ceremony takes place in rotation at two temples in Nusa Penida, namely Penataran Ped Temple (on odd years) and Batumedawu temple (even years).

One of the purposes of the Silent Sea day is to honour Baruna, god of the Sea and oceans and one of the manifestations of the Balinese almighty god, Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa (a.k.a Acintya), God of gods. The day is dedicated to showing respect for the endless bounty the sea provides by giving it a day of rest.

sea ceremony nusapenida
Showing gratitude for the sea's endless bounty

All marine activities are prohibited for 24 hours. This includes fishing, crossing, harvesting seaweed, and all tourism-related activities such as scuba diving, freediving, snorkelling, walking on the beach, swimming, as well as all boat travel. All the fast boat companies going and coming from Bali are closed and there are no boats operating between Penida and Nusa Lembongan or Ceningan.

The day is also a day for meditation, gratitude and strengthening the social solidarity on Penida island. Remembering the importance of the sea and everything it provides to the island's inhabitants is also an important aspect of this day, a reminder to protect the fragile marine habitat.

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