Sunday, April 1, 2012

A silent day in Bali...

So, here in Bali we just celebrated a holiday called "Nyepi". Nyepi is a Hindu holiday in which the whole island of Bali literally shuts down. The airport closes, there are no cars or motorbikes on the road, as you are not allowed to leave your house for 24 hours, you are not allowed to use any kind of light or electricity and you are to have no fun. It is a "silent day". The idea of this silent day is to ward off any evil spirits that might try to cause trouble in Bali. A very interesting concept to say the least.

As part of warding off the evil spirits, on Nyepi Eve, children and adults carry around these massive glutenous monster/demons or "Ogoh-Ogoh" as they refer to them that they have been making by hand for weeks on end. The Ogoh-Ogoh are made from bamboo and paper mache and as I said, are just massive in size, definitely not something that is easily carried around in a parade. After the parade, a few of the Ogoh-Ogoh are chosen to be burned to get rid of the evil spirits that are believed to be inside. Not all of the Ogoh-Ogoh are burned and it is an honor to have your Ogoh-Ogoh as one of the chosen few to be burned. It was so amazing to watch the proud villagers carrying around their Ogoh- Ogoh on these bamboo platforms. All generations involved, kids, teens, adults are so proud and just so full of life on the Eve of Bali's silent day. I absolutely loved it!

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