Colourful effigies known as Ogoh-Ogoh are paraded through the streets before being burned, representing renewal and purification.(Photo: AFP)

Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesia’s resort island Bali fell quiet on March 7 for the annual “Day of Silence” festival, halting flights, internet and closing tourist attractions to allow time for meditation and introspection.

Known locally as Nyepi, the festival marks a new year of Hindus on the island. They are expected to stay at home for 24 hours and self-reflect on the day.

Non-Hindus and tourists are also asked to participate by staying indoors for the island’s annual shutdown.

Cars and motorcycles are not allowed on the road except in the case of an emergency, lights inside homes and on the street must be switched off, and tourist attractions and shopping centres are all closed.

Ngurah Rai International Airport announced it would close for 24 hours starting from 6am on March 7, affecting 468 flights, including 207 international ones.

Local authorities also ordered mobile internet providers to shut down for the day, except for essential public services.

A day before the Nyepi, the island held its annual ritual to ward off demons and evil spirits. In the parade, colourful effigies known as Ogoh-Ogoh were paraded through the streets before being burned, representing renewal and purification.

Indonesia is a Muslim-majority country but more than 80 percent of Bali’s population identify as Hindu and practice a local version of the religion. Tourists flock to the island on Nyepi festival to enjoy an atmosphere of tranquility and peace once a year there.-VNA