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Ogoh – Ogoh Event

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Bali Ogoh-Ogoh is very identical with Nyepi Day in Bali. It can be said that ogoh ogoh is the most interesting event among the series of Nyepi Ceremony. Ogoh ogoh are paraded in the Pengrupukan night, which is a day before the Saka New Year or so called Nyepi Day. Ogoh-ogoh whose appearance is very scary is usually paraded around the village or town by the Banjar or traditional village society which is dominated by the youth.

Ogoh ogoh is a kind of statue / giant doll which is made of light materials such as the combination of wood, bamboo, paper, and styrofoam so it is easy to be lifted and paraded. With the development or technology and materials, people prefer using styrofoam because of its lightweight and easiness to be carved and processed, but of course it costs more. Ogoh-ogoh is made in form of Bhuta Kala or evil spirits and creatures who like to disturb human’s life. Bhuta Kala is usually symbolized as a giant creature / Rakshasa with scary and ferocious appearance. Bhuta Kala is the kind of evil creatures which possessed bad nature in them. In Hindu and Buddha mythology, it is said that the word “rakshasa” means “cruelty”, which is the opposite of the word “raksha” which means “tranquility”. By parading ogoh-ogoh and in the end burn or destroy it, it is expected that those vices could be kept away from human race.

Besides taking Rakshasa form, ogoh ogoh is also often symbolized in other forms such as mythological creature like Garuda, dragon, etcetera, and forms of God and Goddess like God Siwa, Ganesha, or Durgha. Nowadays, there are even ogoh ogoh portraying famous people, celebrities, or villains. Despite of entertaining, actually this thing is a bit deviated from the concept of ogoh ogoh which should show mythological evil creatures. However, some artists who created this kind of ogoh-ogoh argued that now people also have dominated by evil spirit and have done so many bad things such as terrorist or corruptor. They think that those vices must also be destroyed and kept away from human.