Bali Culture – Ogoh-ogoh
The Ogoh-ogoh parade
Tonight is Leon’s favorite day of the year as it’s the parade of the Ogoh-Ogoh!
On the eve of Nyepi (the day of silence) these monster like effigies are exhibited all over Bali in the Ngrupuk parade. Ogoh-ogoh normally have the form of mythological beings, mostly demons.
The main purpose of the making of Ogoh-ogoh is the purification of the natural environment of any spiritual pollutants emitted from the activities of living beings (especially humans). The forms of Ogoh-ogoh represent the Bhuta-Kala (Bhuta: eternal energy, Kala: eternal time) The Ogoh-ogoh is considered a symbol of modes of nature that form the malicious characters of living beings.
The effigy is normally standing on a pad built of timber planks and bamboos. The pad is designed to sustain the Ogoh-ogoh while it is being lifted and carried around the village or the town square. There are normally eight or more men carrying the statue on their shoulders. This procession is accompanied by an orchestral music performance.
During the procession, the Ogoh-ogoh is rotated counter-clockwise three times. This act is done at every T-junction and crossroad of the village. Rotating the effigies during the parade and the eve of Nyepi represents the contact of the bodies with the spirits. It is intended to bewilder the evil spirits so that they go away and cease harming human beings
After being paraded on a convoy around the town, finally it is burnt to ashes in a cemetery as a symbol of self-purification.
The next day on Nyepi the whole island shuts down and is silent. The airport is closed and no vehicles or people are allowed on the streets. The radio and television stations are closed and lights must be extinguished.
To find out more about the unique day of Nyepi on Bali read our Diving Indo Blog