Before the celebration of Nyepi Day, the Hindus of Bali perform the Melasti ritual. A beach is a place that is widely used to hold this ritual.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Melasti ritual on the beach was allowed for traditional villages located near the coast.
Klungkung Regent I Nyoman Suwirta revealed, ahead of the Nyepi celebration, several rituals are usually held by Hindus in Klungkung.
Namely Melasti and the parade of ogoh-ogoh. With the conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic, these activities cannot be carried out in a usual way.
“Ogoh-ogoh will be canceled again this year. For the Melasti ritual, we limit the number of residents involved to only 50 people and they must be disciplined in implementing health protocols,” he stated.
Melasti ritual on the beach, beji or spring, and the lake are allowed for traditional villages whose territory is close to the beach or springs and lakes.
During the Nyepi celebration, his party asked that there be no road closures with certain objects. That is to anticipate emergencies that require smooth road access, such as bringing sick people and handling fires.
“If you close the road, Pecalang is obliged to maintain the road closure. And I asked the firefighters and ambulance officers not to sound the sirens in case of emergency,” he explained.
He mentioned the residents who live outside their hometowns and villages and decide to return to their hometowns to Klungkung Regency to celebrate Nyepi. He said that health protocols must be strictly applied in that case. Likewise for gathering activities to be avoided.
“When I meet (relatives) who knows if there is a virus, so please keep your distance so that unwanted things do not happen. So that no one will mention it later that after Nyepi Covid-19 cases increase and so on.
I hope the Covid-19 Task Force Teams in villages will actively socialize the discipline of implementing health programs to residents, ” stated I Nyoman Suwirta.
photo by AFP/Sonny Tumbelaka