Ogoh-Ogoh and after the procession another ceremony
is held to neutralize the spirits by symbolically burn or actually
burn the Ogoh-ogoh. This spirit is believed as spirit of evil (bhuta)
that may become the disturbance for human and the universe and they
will be always part of human and universe. The purpose of the overall
ceremony that held on this day are to neutralize the bad force /
spirit (bhuta) so it is not any longer becomes disturbance but instead
become positive force for the good of human and universe.
However, for this year, they will be no Ogoh-Ogoh
parade in most part of Bali (perhaps all part of Bali). This decision
were made during the meeting between government and police of Bali,
Balinese Hindu priests and head of village communities due to the
political campaign period. There is suspicion that the Ogoh-Ogoh
parade which mainly involving young crowd may be used for unexpected
political interest. Based on religious point of view, the priests
ensure that the non-existing of Ogoh-Ogoh will not decrease the
essential meaning of the Nyepi celebration.
The Nyepi Day, the silence day
On the first day of the New Year after the noisy
night a silence and quite day is perform. Nyepi derive from 'sepi'
means silence. The activities in all over the Bali island is stopped
for 24 hours. There are four mandatory religious prohibitions called
Catur Brata Penyepian that should be followed by common Hindu people
in Bali. The prohibitions include amati geni or no fire, amati karya
or no work, amati lelanguan or no entertainment and pleasure, and
amati lelungan or no travelling. These prohibitions help people to
control their five earthy senses by mind and wisdom in order to increase
the quality of life for the upcoming year. For people with higher
spiritual ability or willing to have higher spiritual life are expected
to perform further prohibitions include fasting by not eating or drinking,
stay still by not talking, meditating by focusing the mind to the
God and praying.
Ngembak Geni, a day of forgiveness.
The anti-climax of the Nyepi day is on the following
day, which is called Ngembak Geni where people share happiness by
visiting their relatives and friend. The new year is started by forgiving
each other and forget the hate in the past year and work together
to face the challenge of the New Year. Only a simple ritual rite is
performed within the house compound for this day. However, various
cakes will be made to welcome the visit of relatives and friends.
Practical Info for visitors
To witness the Melasti procession, it is best
to be around the beach either in Kuta, Seminyak, Nusa Dua, Sanur and
others. Ask people at your hotel which part of the beach that usually
use for the Melasti near by your hotel and when they usually held
the procession. If you happen already on the road and see people dress
in white and yellow on a parade, just follow them. Please dress properly
with sarong, sash and shirt. Should you are on the beach sunbathing
with your bikini and the procession pass by you please kindly change
your bikini with proper cloth or stay away for a while. It is just
too much contrast, you with your bikini sunbathing, and one meter
away Balinese with traditional cloth perform a serious religious ceremony.
Most likely each village will make at least
one Ogoh-ogoh, the giant doll, and this particular thing will amazed
you a lot. Do drive around in the morning of the day before Nyepi
when the Ogoh-Ogoh will usually placed side of the road. It is a
great picture time for the scary face of the Ogoh-Ogoh. The actual
procession of the Ogoh-Ogoh will be held around sunset so make sure
you come back with your vehicle before that if you do not want to
get stuck behind the procession. It is wiser and easier to witness
the procession near by your hotel by foot. In some main town like
Sanur, Kuta, Denpasar, Ubud and others, there are contest for the
best Ogoh-Ogoh. .
Should you be in Bali or first arrive in Bali
on the juncture of Nyepi Day, you must take the subsequent orders
The silence begins at 5 a.m. of March 21st and the next 24 hours.The
airport will be totally closed on March 21st, so there will be neither
arrival nor departure in the airport on that day. All connecting
airports around the globe have been informed about it in advance.
If you take surface trip, you should not plan your arrival in Bali
on March 21st, there is no activity in the bus terminal and most
importantly there will be no traffic on that day in the whole Bali
You should stay inside your house/hotel. Do not
go out of the house/hotel. Should you need food or anything to buy,
do it on the previous day because on Nyepi Day all shops do not
open. Since all activities throughout the island are paused during
the Nyepi Day, put your plan before or ahead. Should you want to
make a light or play the music, keep it minimum, no light and sounds
are allowed.Don't make any noise while you are at home/hotel.
There will be local officer on duty to ensure everybody
including visitors obey the prohibitions. Some exceptional are made
only for hospital, emergency situation and family with very young
babies. If you experience any emergency situation please report
to the hotel staff or manager on duty to obtain proper permission.
by putu - bali driver
- tour guide