OGOH-OGOH Parade – Bali’s “New Years Eve”

The famous OGOH-OGOH parade is where Balinese men and boys parade large, mythological (mostly demonic) creatures through the streets on the eve of Nyepi.  This is known as Bali’s ‘New Year’s Eve” and is accompanied by much noise and gamelan music.

Ogoh ogoh is a kind of statue / giant doll which is made of light materials eg. combinations of wood, bamboo, paper, and styrofoam, so it is easy to be lifted and paraded. They are usually made by groups of village artists.

As with many creative endeavours based on Balinese Hinduism, the creation of Ogoh-ogoh represents spirituality inspired by Hindu philosophy.

An Ogoh-ogoh generally stands on a pad built of timber planks/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 Ogoh-ogoh on their shoulders.

During the procession, the Ogoh-ogoh is rotated counter-clockwise three times. This act is done at every T-junction and crossroad. (Rotating the effigies is intended to bewilder the evil spirits so that they go away and cease harming human beings).

Tourists and visitors are welcome to watch the parades, take pictures and witness this unique spectacle. Some of these ogoh-ogohs are actually burnt after the parade as a symbol of self purification. A unique spectacle!

images sourced

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