On Monday 26th March 2017, just one day before Balinese New Year, Nyepi. It was Ogoh-Ogoh parade. Villages take many months of planning to create their Ogoh-Ogoh. Ogoh-Ogoh’s are a big unique statue made from bamboo and ornaments that used to attracted negative spirits in Bali.

Ogoh Ogoh parade, bali, traditional fest

The oldest male teenager in the village is in charge of the design and delegating jobs to the younger men. The design of the Ogoh Ogoh statue is to portray a demon like character. This could include features like sharp claws and teeth with white hair and a menacing facial expression. The character usually has chosen from Balinese or Hinduism heroic stories in the past.

These statues are mounted on a bamboo platform for the young men to carry whilst parading through the local villages. The male teenagers choose to dress in matching t-shirts to represent their districts (traditionally known as their Banjar) within the village.

Ogoh-Ogoh parade at Sahaja Sawah Resort

The Parade 

At Sahaja Sawah we took to the local village with our guests just before sunset. As we arrived the parade was well underway. In the distance we could hear the sound of the gong and other traditional instruments, playing Balinese music.

As they approached us we could see three large Ogoh Ogohs. The local boys and men then began to paraded it whilst showing off the features of each statue including flashing lights and other mechanics. While the young boys who were not of age created their own smaller Ogoh Ogoh and paraded them alongside the main model.

Ogoh ogoh parade

The atmosphere was buzzing with loud chanting, music, and dance. The large Ogoh Ogoh was being spun around by the teenagers as it made its way down the village.

It was wonderful to see the local community come together, as everyone was included and had their own role to play in the Ogoh Ogoh parade. For example, the young girls from the village were all stood in line holding bamboo sticks with lit coal in the end.

Ogoh-ogoh parade bali Sahara saran resort

Traditionally the Ogoh Ogoh is burnt after the bad spirits are attracted, which aims to cleanse the village. It is believed that any negativity or stress from the villagers is also collected within the Ogoh Ogoh which is released from the people after the burning stage.

Ogoh-Ogoh parade at Sahaja Sawah Resort