Stay Indoors, Respect Traditions in Bali

Hindunese celebrate Silence Day by obeying the prohibitions, one of them is amati geni (no fire). During the day, all of roads in the island of gods look empty as people stay silent at their houses - Australians travelling to Bali in March have been warned to respect strict laws surrounding the local new year. Custom requires that all people in Bali observe a day of silence from 6am on Tuesday, March 16 until 6am Wednesday, March 17 - the Balinese New Year.

Authorities require that all people in Bali stay indoors, make no noise and switch off all lights for the duration of this period. Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs says tourists must remain in their hotels during this 24-hour period and seek the advice of hotel management regarding movement around the hotel grounds.

Balinese across the island strictly observe this tradition and people leaving their homes or hotels between between these times risk being forcibly returned to their homes or hotels by Balinese traditional village level security personnel.

DFAT says this is an important cultural event for the people of Bali and Australians are urged to be sensitive and strictly observe local custom to avoid giving offence. The Australian Consulate-General in Bali will be closed on Tuesday, March 16 and reopen at 8am on Wednesday, March 17, 2010

DFAT's general travel advice for Indonesia remains unchanged and includes a warning of the possibility of terror attacks. Three Australians were among the nine people killed in the suicide bombings at the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta last July.