This is a festival of purification which will be held before Nyepi. During Nyepi, Hindus are not allowed to participate in any act of indulgence and are not permitted to work or travel. But before this day, the island is filled with celebration and festivities.
Walking along the shoreline, you are certain to see beautiful, bright, colourful offerings for this ceremony. The purification ceremony cleanses the world of bad karma, sin and is completed by obtaining “the water of life” or the Tirta Amerta. Taking place on the edge of the beach, and at Kuta Beach in Bali, people pray during this ritual and all sacred objects are cleaned in the water.
During the festival, three days before Nyepi, thousands travel down to the beaches to make offerings. The festival continues after Nyepi as well, with visiting friends and family arriving to ask for forgiveness. The New Year ritual and the Melasti purification ceremonies begin in March and are a particularly special time to visit Bali.
Local people who attend the ceremony wear traditional Balinese ceremonial clothes and always dress up for this social and religious gathering. While the ceremony occurs all around the island, it is mainly near any source of water.