Ogoh-ogoh festival is one of the unique cultures that must be witnessed in Bali.
The festival of Ogoh-ogoh itself is a part of tradition in preparing Nyepi Day in Bali. What are they actually? These are giant monster dolls made of light materials: Wood, bamboo, paper, and styrofoam.
But nowadays, due to government regulation about reducing the materials that are not good for environment, the use of styrofoam is prohibited. They are carried on bamboo platforms.
You might realize that they take the shape of mythological, evil creatures and gods to represent negative aspects of living things. The scary artworks are indeed shaken when carried through the streets and almost seem to move, dance and come to live.
Ogoh-ogoh often have multiple heads and arms and carry swords or pitchforks. The monsters there do not only come in great artistic shape and giant size, but also with colorful lighting or motorized for even more drama.
Some of the most impressive Ogoh-ogoh are paraded at the Puputan Square in Denpasar, a night before the Nyepi Day, which is called Pengerupukan.
All the Banjars (the small communities of every village in Bali) in Denpasar were getting ready for the parade. In addition, it is prohibited to contain political, racial, and pornographic elements.
Ogoh-ogoh parrots must use Balinese traditional clothes, and the parade was done in the area of village respectively coordinated by the village officer in coordination with the security forces.
Particularly in Denpasar, the parade of Ogoh-ogoh is also a competition. The judges give the point from their composition, anatomy, technology, and finishing. But which one is the best Ogoh-ogoh in this year, 2019?
According to the information from the local people, there are two-best in this year. They are from Banjar Mertha Rauh Kaja, North Denpasar, with their theme entitled Narasimha Avatar, and from Banjar Dukuh Mertasari, South Denpasar, with their theme entitled Sang Bhuta Wingkara.
Both of them got the same point, 90.625. A little bit explanation about Narasimha Ogoh-ogoh, it is from a Hindu deity known as the man-lion and is an avatar of Vishnu, the supreme deity of Vaishnavism and a part of Hinduism’s Trimurti.
The name comes from the Sanskrit, nara, meaning “man,” and simha, which means “lion”. He is depicted with a human body, lion’s head and sometimes with claws. Vishnu transforms into Narasimha in order to destroy the evil ones.
As for the other one, Sang Bhuta Wingkara Ogoh-ogoh, it tells the tale about the Bhuta Kala (resembles a monster), punish the evil spirit who often torture and disturb the animals, plants and even the human.
The unique thing is, all materials from head to bottom are made from natural ingredients. The hair part for example. They use lighted seaweed and orange peel. Most of these materials are founded on the beach, and the rest are bought on the market. Meanwhile, the skin is made from matchstick. It is glued and attached to the giant’s body. To make giant skin, they spend 1000 matches.
But there is one Ogoh-ogoh which has been the all-time favorite for citizens of Denpasar, it is from Banjar Tainsiat, Denpasar, with their theme ‘Sing Main-main’ in Balinese which means “No Joke”.
This Ogoh-ogoh from Tainsiat has always been phenomenal around Denpasar, because they often made a unique improvement each year for their theme. They are the pioneer for installing the mechanic robotic system in Ogoh-ogoh, which makes them can move, and this year, they even made it standing!
So, what about you? Have you watch the Ogoh-ogoh? And which one is your favourite?