Next year’s Nyepi paired with a collective leave day in the name of religious equality: Gov’t

Balinese guards patrol an emtpy street in Jimbaran as the Indonesian holiday island shuts down for a day of silence to mark Nyepi, the Hindu new year, on March 31, 2014. Retailers closed their shops and many tourists stayed inside their hotels for a day of reflection that is supposed to be free from daily routine, including work and play. Guards with sticks and traditional daggers enforced the public observance among the Hindu- majority population. Photo: Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP
Balinese guards patrol an emtpy street in Jimbaran as the Indonesian holiday island shuts down for a day of silence to mark Nyepi, the Hindu new year, on March 31, 2014. Retailers closed their shops and many tourists stayed inside their hotels for a day of reflection that is supposed to be free from daily routine, including work and play. Guards with sticks and traditional daggers enforced the public observance among the Hindu- majority population. Photo: Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP

Whether you have made holiday plans for next year or not, the announcement that Hari Nyepi (Day of Silence) is being paired with a collective leave day is surely extra good news.

The central government announced public holiday and collective leave days for 2023 yesterday. Nyepi, which will fall on Wednesday, March 22, is going to be immediately followed by a collective leave day.

Indonesia ordinarily gets just one day off for Nyepi. Next year is set to be different, with the government citing religious equality to be behind the extra day off.

“Indeed, Nyepi Day falls on an awkward [day] – Wednesday […] But we decided to [give the collective leave day] so that every religion gets the same treatment,” said Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy, explaining that the idea came from Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas.

Read also: Pending no more global catastrophes, here are the public holiday and collective leave days for 2023

Every Nyepi, people on the island who are not Balinese Hindus are still expected to respect the sacred practice and stay indoors with their lights out or at least not seen from the outside. Tradition holds that people who observe Nyepi are not supposed to work or travel (gentle reminder that the airport will be closed that day), as they are expected to use the day for self-reflection.

People who wish to remain active on Nyepi Day usually either book trips to other parts of Indonesia such as Lombok, or enjoy a good resort package deal where they will be allowed to wander around as long as they remain inside the complex.

At any rate, here is the 2023 public holiday calendar:

  • Sunday, Jan. 1 (New Year)
  • Sunday, Jan. 22 (Chinese New Year)
  • Saturday, Feb. 18 (Ascension of the Prophet Muhammad)
  • Wednesday, March 22 (The Balinese Day of Silence)
  • Friday, April 7 (Good Friday)
  • Saturday-Sunday, April 22-23 (Eid al-Fitr)
  • Monday, May 1 (May Day)
  • Thursday, May 18 (Ascension of Christ)
  • Thursday, June 1 (Pancasila Day)
  • Sunday, June 4 (Vesak)
  • Thursday, June 29 (Eid al-Adha)
  • Wednesday, July 19 (Islamic New Year)
  • Thursday, Aug. 17 (Independence Day)
  • Thursday, Sept. 28 (Birth of the Prophet Muhammad)
  • Monday, Dec. 25 (Christmas)

And here are the collective leave days for 2023:

  • Monday, Jan. 23
  • Thursday, March 23 (right after Nyepi Day!)
  • Friday, Monday-Wednesday, April 21, 24-26
  • Friday, June 2
  • Tuesday, Dec. 26


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