Sipeng: Bali Tradition of “Resting”

Majelis Desa Adat (MDA) or Customary Village Assembly plans to perform “Sipeng Desa” for 3 days (April 18 – 20). This plan gets lots of responses from the Bali people. Responding�pros and cons by people, Bendesa Agung (leader) MDA, Ida Panglingsir Agung Putra Sukahet as quoted by Bali Post, explains Sipeng is not same as Nyepi. There are many kind of Sipeng, e.g. sipeng desa, sipeng carik, sipeng subak, sipeng segara, etc.�Sipeng desa is a term in Bali which means similar to “lockdown” or closing the area/territory”. Sipeng desa means people are not allowed to do outdoor activities. However, sipeng desa is followed by such small religious rituals. About people who pros and cons of Sipeng Desa, Agung Putra says actually it shouldn’t be since Sipeng Desa is in line with the Bali government appeals for people to stay home to prevent Covid-19 spreading.

Sipeng desa is not the same with Nyepi. On Nyepi holy day, there are 4 restrictions for Hindu Bali follower: amati geni (no fire), amati karya (no work), amati lelungan (no travel), and amati lelanguan (no entertainment) meanwhile sipeng desa just do amati lelungan or no travelling/stay home.

Besides Nyepi holy day, some villages in Bali also perform tradition called Sipeng once in a year. Buahan village in Payangan performs sipeng on Tilem Kasa (the first new moon) meanwhile in Bugbug village, they perform sipeng on Sasih Kaulu (the 8th moon due to the Bali calendar). Busung Biu village in Buleleng also has sipeng or people called it nyepi desa.�In general, sipeng or most people called nyepi desa is giving the time for rest to either people, the earth (on nyepi desa), or the sea (on sipeng segara), sipeng carik (rest for rice field), etc.



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