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Bali Makes a Peaceful New Year Transition

Over 4,000 Giants and Demons Strut Their Stuff on Bali's Streets on Nyepi Eve.

(2/14/2009) Over 4,000 giant floats or ogoh-ogoh depicting monsters, soccer stars, political figures and favorite rock stars took over streets across Bali on Nyepi eve, March 6, 2008.

Standing several meters high and built of papier-mâché by members of community banjars, villagers hoist bamboo platforms holding the colorful figures onto their shoulders and parade the streets of Bali. Late on the night before the day of island wide silence on Nyepi [See: Pause and Consider in Bali on March 7, 2008] the ogoh-ogoh are typically abandoned and occasionally set afire before revelers return to their homes to commence the 24-hours of silent contemplation.

Tempo Interaktif reports that the ogoh-ogah practice was alive and well this year in Bali, with an official police estimate of a 9% increase in the number of giant floats as compared to 2007.

The official count of ogoh-ogohs found the greatest number in Gianyar (1,072) followed by Denpasar (672), Tabanan (575), Bangli (258), Badung (527), Jembrana (250), Klungkung (215) and Karangasem (203).

Traditionally. ogoh-ogoh are representations of evil spirits, paraded and exorcised by Balinese on the last day of the old year.

Because of incidents over recent years, Island authorities have placed limitations on the Nyepi eve parades to avoid public disorder caused by public drunkenness and street battles between competing community banjars.

The peaceful celebration of the Balinese New Year this year was fortified by the deployment of 6,000 police officers across the island supplemented by local pacalang or volunteer peace officers.

[ www.roundshot360.de]

Selamat Hari Nyepi Caka 1930!


Photos from Ogoh Ogoh (Click to Enlarge)