The Ogoh-ogoh parade is a major part of the Nyepi festival in Bali. The parade typically takes place on the evening before Nyepi. The word “Ogoh-ogoh” comes from the Balinese term “Ogah-ogah”, which means something that is shaken. The parade is usually accompanied by loud gamelan music that creates a lively and festive atmosphere. 

During the parade, large, elaborate Ogoh-ogoh monsters are carried or pushed through the streets by groups of young people wearing traditional Balinese dress.

Here are five facts about Ogoh-ogoh: 

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#1 Appearance

Balinese people are known for their creativity in arts. Far before Nyepi – every Banjar in Bali is busy creating the best Ogoh-Ogoh for the festival. It can take many different designs and is often a demonic creature, with sharp teeth, horns, and fierce expressions. Some Ogoh-Ogoh monsters take the form of animals such as dragons, snakes, or birds. These monsters are often decorated with colorful feathers, scales, or other details to make them more realistic. In recent years, Ogoh-Ogoh monsters have also been designed to look like modern-day figures such as politicians or celebrities. These monsters are often satirical and humorous, poking fun at current events or public figures.

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#2 Symbolism

Ogoh-Ogoh is a symbol of all the negative traits that people want to eliminate from themselves, such as greed, anger, jealousy, and lust. By parading these monsters through the streets and then burning them, the Balinese believe that they are purifying themselves and their community. 

#3 Construction

Ogoh-Ogoh is typically constructed out of bamboo and paper mache and can take several months to build. In recent years, there has been a growing trend toward making Ogoh-Ogoh monsters from environmentally friendly and biodegradable materials. However, some communities are now using recycled materials to make the monsters, such as old car parts, scrap metal, and discarded plastic bottles.

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#4 Parade

The monsters are carried on bamboo poles, which are held by a team of young men who move the monster in a series of intricate dance-like movements. The movements are designed to make the monster look as if it is alive and moving on its own.

The team of young men who carry the monster practice for weeks leading up to the festival to perfect their choreography and movements. The dance movements are accompanied by the sounds of traditional Balinese music, including drums and cymbals.

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#5 Burning

Burning the Ogoh-Ogoh is the climax of the Nyepi Day festival in Bali. After the parade is over, the monsters are taken to a designated location where they are set on fire. It is symbolic of the purification of the community and the elimination of negative energies. It is also believed to drive away evil spirits and demons that may be lurking in the community. It is a way to ensure that the community is protected and blessed in the coming year.

People from the community gather around the burning Ogoh-ogoh and pray for a prosperous and peaceful year ahead. 

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