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SEE IT: Balinese New Year begins with a day of total silence
Nyepi is dedicated to getting closer to God through special rituals
Hi ReligionUnplugged readers,
Indonesian photojournalist Garry Lotulung visited the island of Bali to observe Nyepi, the day that signifies the Balinese New Year. On March 23 this year, the day focuses on meditation and growing closer to God in total silence: the island turns off all lights, stops all traffic and renounces all worldly activities.
The three-to-five day period leading up to Nyepi is filled with a variety of special rituals including obtaining holy water from the sea, a folk game with mud and fire fighting.
Enjoy some of the photos here, but don’t miss the rest in today’s top story!
(PHOTO STORY) On Nyepi, which is the most special day of the year in the Balinese Saka Calendar, the island of Bali turns off all lights and sounds, stops all traffic, renounces all worldly activities, and meditates while silence and serenity reign over the entire island. by Garry Lotulung
(Religious Liter-AI-cy): In comparison with Siri, Alexa’s answers were very winsome and detail oriented. She elaborates more on the answers to the questions asked, often without making a reference to a specific web source, making the interview more seamless and in depth. Alexa seems more intelligent and, dare I say, personal. by Rafa Oliveira
One of the most majestic displays of religious art a visitor can find in Naples — if not anywhere in the Catholic world — is known as the “Treasure of San Gennaro.” Located in Naples’ historic city center (which is also famous for artisans and nativity scenes), the area has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. by Clemente Lisi
The gangsterism style of rape dwindled when South Africa gained its freedom on April 27, 1994. Yet, rape is coming to a rise in a different dimension. Many homes are affected by fathers and brothers who are victimizing and raping their own wives, mothers, daughters and sisters. What is now appalling is the reported recurring incidents of rapes that women and children suffer at the hands of some of the clergy. by Vicky Abraham
(REVIEW) The “Avatar” franchise contains two of the highest-grossing movies in history. Its spiritual influences and concern for the environment are two of the franchise’s most notable themes, and they are inextricable from real world events in the modern day. by Brianna Jacobs
(TRAVEL) In the beginning of Revelation, John issues letters of encouragement, admonition and warning that he says Jesus instructed him to write to seven church communities in the Roman province of Asia Minor, which is now Turkey. The churches were: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.Remnants of these cities from the New Testament can still be found on Turkey’s Western coast, hundreds of miles across the country from where the devastating earthquake occurred in February. by Kim Lawton
Lutefisk is a tradition I found out, but it’s reserved for the late fall and early winter celebrations. You cannot get it over July 4th weekend, sorry to say. Nevertheless, I pressed on to learn about the culture of lutefisk, Lutheranism and other elements of the faith-inflected Scandinavian ways of the upper Midwest. by Myna German
In this week’s Weekend Plug-in, Bobby Ross Jr. highlights the faith of the two newest candidates to declare for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. Plus, as always, catch up on all the best reads and top headlines in the world of faith.
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