Again, This Year’s Nyepi Celebration Is Without Ogoh-Ogoh Parade

  • Whatsapp
Illustration of Ogoh-Ogoh
Illustration of Ogoh-Ogoh commonly paraded one day before Nyepi (Pengerupukan Day).

HINDU in Bali celebrates a number of holidays. One of them is Nyepi or Day of Silence. This once-a-year celebration marks the change of the Saka year which falls the day after new moon of the ninth month (Tilem Kesanga) or the first day of the tenth month (Sasih Kedasa) in the Balinese calendar.

Philosophically, Hindus ask God to clean up microcosm (humans) and macrocosm (the universe and its contents). Nyepi in Balinese language meaning ‘silent.’ Therefore, during the Nyepi celebration people are not allowed to carry out any activities as in normal days, such as not lighting a fire or lights, not traveling (leaving the house), not enjoying entertainment and not working. In short, Bali Island will totally turn silent but hospital still opens and medical emergency activities are still tolerated.

Read More

Nyepi celebration in Bali has several stages. It starts from Melasti (can be a few days before), Mecaru and Pengerupukan (the day before) and Ngembak Geni (the day after). During melasti, all means of praying including pratima or sanctified effigies in temples are carried to the sea, river or other water sources to be purified and all Hindus also participate in purifying themselves from all impurities.

Beyond religious events, pengerupukan is also usually enlivened by an art parade in the form of ogoh-ogoh or papier mache demon. It is begun with prayers to beg safety for all. This ogoh-ogoh commonly takes the form of a bhuta kala or a giant who has negative qualities. After being paraded around the local villages, the ogoh-ogoh are burned. Through all the rituals and sacrifices, all negative things are expected to disappear and get away from human life so that universe will come back to natural balance.

However, considering the existence of regulations such as the Enforcement of Community Activity Restrictions (PPKM) in Bali amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Hindu Dharma Council of Indonesia (PHDI) of Bali Chapter and Bali Customary Village Assembly (MDA) issued a joint Circular dated January 19, 2021 regarding the abolition of Ogoh-Ogoh parade in relation to the celebration of this year’s Nyepi, falling on March 14.

Aside from eliminating the ogoh-ogoh parade, the circular also regulates the following matters so that the Nyepi celebration and its several stages can run smoothly and properly but still adheres to health protocols determined by the government. The regulation includes (1) The procession should not involve more than 50 people; (2) Equipment used by religious leaders when sprinkling holy water and giving bija must be clean; (3) People are not allowed to set firecrackers and the like; (4) People who are not in good health are prohibited from participating in the ceremony procession; and (5) All devotees following the procession must comply with health protocols.

Related posts