"Ogoh-Ogoh": Ushering in the Hindu New Year in Bali

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The day before the celebration of Silent Day, Monday, March 15, thousands participate in parades called “Ogoh-Ogoh”. The participants enliven the streets of Bali, known as the island of the Gods.

Ogoh-Ogoh is actually a big doll, made to resemble a grim-faced giant. Dozens of people carry the dolls and parade them around the village.

[Ketut Suwena, Community Leader] (Indonesian, male)
"The purpose of carrying the Ogoh-Ogoh is to harmonize the evil power of the Silent Day celebration tomorrow, in order to bring about peace for both humans and other living beings created by God."

The Ogoh-Ogoh procession got enthusiastic attention from local residents.

But foreign visitors were also attracted to the celebration.

[Thilo, German Tourist]:
“I’m waiting for the next Ogoh-Ogoh (to)come in (the) Bukit area…Ah now it’s coming very very soon…that a smaller one… ‘I love Bali’ teams is here…celebriting the new years…now they stop a litle bit…Ah…what is going to…I’m not sure what happen now…just stop a litle bit for having a litle bit break, some of the Ogoh-Ogoh such very heavy. This one coming soon is a smaller one but we already have a very very big one here.”

All community activities in Bali come to a complete stop for 24 hours on Tuesday, March 16th, for Silent Day.

The airport and the ocean harbor are closed and the streets looked deserted. Only some Balinese security guards can be seen on duty.

The Balinese community observes four restrictions during Nyepi or Silent Day - no smoking, no working, no traveling and no having fun.

NTD News, Bali, Indonesia

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