Last night was Ogah-Ogah night in Bali--the night that precedes Nyeppi or New Years Day. This night is a couple of weeks in the making as young people in every village spend their spare time making the Ogah Ogahs you see on this page. This is but a small sampling just from our village--there are hundreds all over the island. (This would make a wonderful picture book if one could travel all over during this time.)
They are made of papier mache', but very strong and sturdy as they are put on make-shift bamboo pole platforms and paraded thru the streets while much noise is being made banging drums and cymbals, and chanting--loud.
They are meant to be scary in order to frighten away the evil spirits which fly overhead during the New Years.
This is a wonderful night with all the locals and tourists out taking pictures and having a great time--lots of food vendors selling corn-on-the-cob, tofu and rice dishes and toys for the kids.
At midnight everything and everyone quiets down in observance of the New Year. For the next 30 hours--until 6am the following day all lights must be off, no one--cars, bikes, people can be out. Even the big hotels down south keep all guests from leaving the property, and the airport and seaport is closed for the day. Silence is the key word and it is strictly observed.
The idea is that when night falls and the evil spirits fly over the island they will not see Bali--what a great and clever idea! Why haven't we thought of that in the west?
I hope you all enjoy looking at these photos--we had a lot of fun taking them and being a part of Ogah Ogah night!