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Tourists Disappointed There Will Be No Ogoh-Ogoh Competitions In Bali In 2024

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In 2024 Bali will be promoting sustainable and culturally respectful tourism more than ever.

However, the world-famous Ogoh-Ogoh competition and parades part of the Nyepi Festival, also known as the Balinese New Year, has been officially canceled this March. 

Ogoh Ogoh Statue in Parade at Nypei Festival Bali.jpg

Balinese New Year, known officially as Nyepi Festival, or the Day of Silence will this year start at 5:59 a.m. on Monday 11th March 2024 until 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, 12th March 2024.

Traditionally the night before the day of silence communities come together to parade huge monster-like statues through the streets.

Each statue takes months to prepare with whole families, communities, and villages coming together to create the biggest, most artistic, and most fearsome ogoh-ogoh possible. 

@wayan_sunarte4 stt bali yoga krui💀 #CapCut #ogohogoh2023 #ogohogoh #ogohviral #bali #pemudaharapanbanjar #pesisirbarat #Lampung #tampaksiring ♬ suara asli – son – Wayan

This incredible festival has caught the attention of the world and thousands of tourists time their visits to be able to observe this unique cultural parade.

Thousands of people come out to watch the parades as the ogoh-ogoh are run through the streets turned three times at every intersection and crossroad to help ward off evil spirits. 

The ogoh-ogoh parades are also a great way for local communities to come together and keep their culture alive.

The planning, preparation, and building of the ogoh-ogoh is often coordinated by the island’s youth, supported by the community elders who supervise the safety and security of the parade alongside the island’s spiritual leaders.

Traditionally the ogoh-ogoh are burnt at the end of the parades, though nowadays it is more common for the statues to be shaken until they fall, but some are preserved and sold as cultural curios. 

@ogohogoh.bali tapel ogohogoh #bali #ogohogohbali #ogohogoh2023 #ogoh_ogoh_bali ♬ suara asli – hardy andika

Ogoh-ogoh parades are organized at a village, town, city, and regency level. In November 2023 officials suggested that the regency-organized ogoh-ogoh parades may be canceled due to fears that since the festival falls so close to the general election the effigies and statues may be created with a political theme.

It has now been confirmed by the Head of the Buleleng Regency Culture Service, I Nyoman Wisandika, that the Bali Province Culture Service will not organize any ogoh-ogoh parades or competitions in 2024, for the 1946 Nyepi Caka Holy Day. There have been hopes the rumors weren’t true.

Wisandika told reporters, “This year, ogoh-ogoh competitions will not be held in all districts and cities throughout Bali. It’s been fixed, it’s a decision from the Bali Provincial Culture Service.”

Wisandika said that he and his teams have not been informed as to the exact reason why the ogoh-ogoh competitions and parades will not be held at a regency level this year.

“We don’t know the exact considerations, what is clear is that it is a decision from the Province.” 

Battle of the Ogoh-Ogohs during Nyepi Ngrupuk parade in Bali

When this news was first alluded to in November 2023 officials suggested that since the festival falls so close to the elections.

Since many ogoh-ogoh take months to create if the competitions were canceled, officials feel this removes any temptation to use the festival to promote or condemn any political agenda during a deeply spiritual and cultural event. 

Wisandika said that although the island’s biggest parades and competitions will not go ahead, village-level parades will still be possible.

He confirmed that the Traditional Village Councils will support the youth in each village so they can still make ogoh-ogoh and host community-level festivities.

Ogoh-Ogoh The Balinese Giant puppet

He noted “It has been a tradition from year to year, Traditional Villages are welcome to make ogoh-ogoh. This is also an opportunity for creativity.”

“Later, the parade can only be carried out in that village area, the important thing is that it is orderly and smooth.”

Ogoh-Ogoh-Carried-By-Balinese-Men-During-Cultural-Parade-for-Nyepi-Festival-In-Bali

Tourists staying in Bali over the Nyepi festival will still be able to observe ogoh-ogoh parades, especially if staying in smaller villages, or at homestays.

Most communities are all too happy to have tourists watch the village ogoh-ogoh parades.

Tourists are reminded to respect and adhere to the instructions of local Pecalang (village security officials) during all festivals, parades, and ceremonies throughout the year. 

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Josh

Wednesday 17th of January 2024

The national elections are on 14th February - Nyepi is almost 3.5 weeks later on March 11th! No chance of any influencing the other. It usually takes a minimum of 2 months to build an average Ogoh-Ogoh, and longer for a mythical-themed competition-level one. This article is nonsense and unsubstantiated. Perhaps the Bali Sun needs some real content and writers.

Josh

Wednesday 17th of January 2024

Yet - everywhere I see each banjar and/or desa still making their Ogoh-Ogoh in earnest because they will still be parading them and competing with each other!!

Tobie

Tuesday 16th of January 2024

There will be no difference only no stages for officials to sit on

Wayan Bo

Tuesday 16th of January 2024

Ogoh2 4 President.

Nick Mahanets

Tuesday 16th of January 2024

So, the Indonesian overlords cancel another Balinese cultural event, cool.