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Candi Dasa ::: Bali

INDONESIA | Wednesday, 25 March 2009 | Views [1609] | Comments [1]

My arrival in bali is timed with the hindu holiday season.  I get to see the streets beautifully decorated with penjar which are long tall bamboo pole that are installed in front of the house gates for the Galungan and Kuningan holiday.  Galungan is the victory celebration of dharma (goodness) against adharma (wickedness).  During the celebration and days before and many days after there is a tradition called Barong Ngelawang.  A group of people performs a Barong dance on the street, going from one house to another.  There are two kinds of Barongs they use.  One is the sacred Barong from the temple used by the older men and the barong-barongan (toy-barong) used by the kids.  The barong-barongan goes from one village to another village receiving money from villages and tourist for their performances.  The Barong Ngelawang is a ritual tradition used by farmers to chase plant-diseases away.  Now a days many restaurants and shops owners invite the Barong Ngelawang to perform in front of their places believing they will get more customers in the future.  One holiday that I get to partake in is Nyepi.  Nyepi is the first day of the Balinese New Year, 1931, according to the Caka year in the Balinese calendar system. According to Hindu teachings, Balinese have to do Catur Brata Penyepian (4 kinds of fasting).  They are amati geni (no lighting of fires including electricity), amati karya (no work), amati lelungan (no traveling just stay home - airport is actually closed), and amati lelangan (no amusement). .  The streets are complete empty.  Balinese will stay home starting on March 26th from 00.01am, until the next day.  The day before Nyepi, huge demon shape dolls called ogoh-ogoh are carried by groups of young men around their villages.  Each village creates their own ogoh-ogoh characters…some with scary faces others with fun ones. It is said that there are evil and good spirits and on new years day the bad ones will fly over bali and since they do not want to attract the evil spirits this is why they do not light anything or go out it is to make the island look deserted so the evil spirits will pass over bali and go to the next island.  This year unfortunately it is election year and the government has said no to doing the ogoh-ogoh some villages have not listened and still built them while the village that I stayed in in Candi Dasa the kids created smaller ones to bring thru the village.  They run up and down the street in and out of peoples yards and businesses screaming to scare out the evil spirits trapping them in the ogoh-ogoh’s then they bring them to the beach where they will stab them and then burn them.  Watching this made me cry it was so moving watching the entire village young and old getting into it.  Something I will never forget.  I was staying with Tasha at her friend Tanya and Lampot’s place with their 3 kids (one Toby who did the ogoh-ogoh) Marcia and my boy mikey came up to join us for the holiday.  It truly was a beautiful quiet day of doing nothing but relaxing…I think the entire world should have a Nyepi day!

 

Comments

1

Hi Drea!!

i love your story here about Nyepi Day!!! i would like to repost it on Kenapa Endonesah Blog: http://kenapaendonesah.wordpress.com/
just take a look on the project, if you are interested, just let me know!

Terima Kasih,
Mariza

i think we know the same person, Maria, american who currently is officially became a local person in Ubud.lol. i'm a CSers too. :)

  Mariza May 5, 2009 12:40 AM

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