Balinese New Year & Silent Day


ogoh-ogoh 1 ogoh-ogoh 3

Yesterday was Tawur Kesanga – the day before Nyepi – the balinese New Year – the only ceremony following the moon calendar based on hinduism rituals. All villages in Bali hold a large excorcism ceremony, participated through all levels of the society. Every tempel present their own evils, some are bigger, some smaller but all of them are very impressive. Elderly boys and young men carry the very creative designed and scary looking huge demons, called Ogoh-Ogoh (manufactured out of bamboo and paper, dramatically decorated and painted with fangs, bulging eyes and scary hair) during a long procession.


The younger boys carry the smaller demons but all of them a very proud and have big fun.  The Ogoh-Ogoh monsters symbolize the evil spirits surrounding our environment which have to be eliminated from our lives. Accompanied is the procession of gamelan musicians. They increase the noise during the evening, people start burning torches and set finally fire to the Ogoh-Ogoh in order to get the evil spirits and demons away from the island and out of our lives. From my part, following the procession next to the musicians  – my evils are gone or at least I am so deaf since, that I can not hear them anymore.

Dieter and I are very happy that we arrived in time to join the colorful, lively celebration and to watch the joy and excitement of the participants.

Today is Nyepi – the balinese New Year and silent day – the most important religous day in Bali. Airport and harbours are closed, all activities – even traffic – are stopped. People stay at home, light is kept to a minimum or not at all, TV is turned down and of course – no words. Even love making is not supposed to take place, nor even attempted (we’ve been informed in the letter of silent-day-rules from the reception).

On Nyepi the world expected to be clean and everything starts new. From the religious and   philosophycal point of view, Nyepi is ment to be a day of self introspection to decide on values, such as humanity, love, patience, kindness etc. – values which should be kept forever.

I personally think this is really inspiring and we should introduce a silent day from time to time also into our lives. Have you ever tried it and do you want to share your experience?


Posted in: Travel

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