Balinese people celebrate a lot. I was once told, by a Balinese friend, they have 6 months worth of days off in a year ( I secretly wish he lied to me). I can almost vouch for his honesty because I have lived in Bali enough to be able to realise he wasn’t far from the truth, ok I may have been there around that time of the year when they celebrate the most, but even so, I’m telling you, their gods must be really pleased.
I happened to experience one very colourful, naughty parade, which takes place during one of the most important Balinese celebrations, Nyepi day. It’s called Ogoh-ogoh and aside from being the symbol of Bhuta-Kala((Bhuta: eternal energy, Kala: eternal time), Ogoh-ogoh is considered a symbol of modes of nature that form the malicious characters of living beings. Ogoh-ogoh are usually made by the group of artists found in villages around Bali.After being paraded on a convoy around the town, finally it is burnt to ashes in a cemetery as a symbol of self-purification.
What I found interesting was the amount of preparation and the dedication the Balinese people put into building the Ogoh-ogoh. Spending our time around the villages we’ve noticed they meticulously started working on them a few good weeks in advance. It made the anticipation even more exciting, we felt a little bit part of the ceremony, besides, one could only have fun by seeing the young and old people together displaying proudly their creations.
A burst of colour and life.