Ogoh Ogoh are “No Go” for Nyepi 2024

Ogoh-Ogoh Parades are traditionally a highlight of Bali’s Hindu New Year Celebrations held on the eve of “Nyepi” – Bali’s day of absolute silence.

The actual date for Nyepi changes each year on the Gregorian Calendar, falling once every year on the Balinese Saka Calendar.

Deserted Streets in Bali on Nyepi

A code of absolute silence is imposed from 6:00 a.m. on Monday, 11 March 2024, until 6:00 a.m. the following morning. A day of silence, fasting, and thoughtful meditation, the devout observe Catur Brata Penyepian – a doctrine comprised of 4 absolute tenets, namely:

  • Amati Geni: No fire or light, including no electricity
  • Amati Karya: No working
  • Amati Lelunganan: No travelling
  • Amati Lelanguan: No revelry/self-entertainment

During the 24 hours of Nyepi, Bali’s roads resemble a ghost town devoid of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Homes are darkened with windows blackened or covered with little or no sound emanating from structures that seem to be otherwise abandoned. Local vigilante officers (pecalang) patrol streets, ensuring the rules of behavior on Nyepi are obeyed.

Ogoh-Ogoh are giant papier–mâché floats created by community banjars to be paraded on the shoulders of young men through the streets of the Island of Bali in Mardi Gras fashion on the night before New Year’s Day – the day of absolute silence “Nyepi.” 

After a hiatus of several years during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Provincial Government of Bali has announced that the island-wide Ogoh-Ogoh competition between hundreds of banjars across the Island will not take place in 2024.

While banjars are welcome to make the magnificent Ogoh Ogoh floats for their enjoyment, in 2024, there will not be the lively competition of competing effigies.

Quoted by NusaBali.com, I Nyoman Wisandika, the head of Buleleng Regency’s Cultural Office, confirmed that under coordination provided by Provincial authorities, it has been agreed that within the context of New Year Celebrations for Hari Suci Nyepi Caka 1946, unlike previous years, no competitions on the regency or municipal level will be held. 

Wisandika made the pronouncement on Thursday, 11 January 2024, confirming the decision has an island-wide effect. All regencies in Bali have agreed to the decision to cancel Ogoh Ogoh parades and competitions in 2024. Wisandika said that while he did not know the details of any PRELIMINARY deliberations, the decision did reflect a provincial consensus.

Historically, Ogoh Ogoh competitions have been facilitated and funded by regional administrations. Past funding included subsidies to local Banjar groups and prize money to groups winning the competition. Past competitions have included prize money of Rp. 50 million, Rp. 35 million, and Rp. 25 million for first, second, and third place, respectively.

Meanwhile, Banjar Groups are allowed and encouraged to express their creativity by constructing Ogoh Ogoh floats. In 2024 there will be no competition between villages and Banjars, with “parades” confined to the local village. 

Related Links

2024 Ogoh Ogoh Parades To Be Cancelled? 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Nyepi Day in Bali

Nyepi: A Millennium & More of Bali Silence

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