The Day of Silence and Other New Years Day Celebrations from around the World

All over the globe there are celebrations when a year ends and a new cycle begins. The change dosn’t necessarily happen on december 31 / January 1, as in the western world. In Ubud, Bali (Indonesia), the celebrations take place in march, when the new year for the hindus begins.
Bali is a country full of music. It is a society where music is always present: when the fields are harvested, there is a music group of the town playing while other members of the community cut the fruits or whatever they are harvesting. The same thing happens when the community plants the seeds for the new agricultural cycle and in general terms there is no event in the life of the people from Bali where there wouldn’t be a musical group playing.
At the last day of the year, the people from Bali bring out giant paper monsters that symbolize the evil in multiple presentations and forms. In the night, the paper monsters are brought back to where they were built and remain there for one day. This day is the day of silence and there is absolutely no action on the streets or in the houses. People meditate and rest, stying home since no traffic is allowed on the streets. No cars, no motorcycles and not even pedestrians.
The idea behind this tradition is that on this day the evil spirits will visit the island and when they see the paper monsters and the empty streets they will think that the monsters already have taken over the island and that there are no persons left. So, they will go back to where they came from and will let the land in peace for another year.
That would be a nice tradition to introduce in the western world!

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