Monday, March 23, 2015

Balinese New Year -- Nyepi -- Ogoh-Ogoh -- Water Ceremony Parade of Giant Monsters and Silent Day

Each year the entire island of Bali celebrates New Year together on the new moon in March. This year Nyepi was March 20 - 21. For a month before, the young men in each village built the Ogoh-Ogoh monsters. Day by day, I watched them progress.

For weeks before preparations are made for the three day event, beginning with the ritual of going to the sea for the sacred objects from every village temple to be purified and blessed by the waters.

The parade of the giant monsters is the night before Nyepi, the Silent Day. Their job is to chase demons away from Bali so the New Year ahead will go well. Live gamelan music plays for each one -- the video at the end has a bit of it.

Magnificent creatures! Every village makes them, but the ones in Ubud are legendary as this is the cultural center of Bali, the town of artists.

People come from everywhere to see the Ogoh-Ogoh

Performers enact stories about the monsters

When these giants pass by carried on bamboo platforms by dozens of men, we are all shoved back by the traditional Balinese police so we won't be trampled, especially when they spin around -- very exciting indeed. We all yell in fear and glee.

The next story -- To the sea for purification! I have waited years to see this.
In my next post . . .

1 comment:

  1. I love these photos!! These creations are so lovely. I have heard a lot about Balinese New Year. Thanks for posting these photos. Well, this year I visited Washington DC to celebrate NY. I attended a wonderful NYE party at one of the best venues in DC. It was truly a wonderful experience.


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