Ogoh-ogoh (the symbol of evil spirit)

A very giant Ogoh-ogoh at a cross junction in Denpasar

A very giant Ogoh-ogoh at a cross junction in Denpasar

The Balinese New Year or known as Nyepi Day (the Silent Day), falls on the same day of the Spring Equinox and Astrological New Year. This post is about the day before Nyepi, we are having Pengerupukan day (it is today) at 6 pm (that’s the time, 6 pm) to chase away the evil spirits or bhuta kala from our environment. You are expected to make noisy sound, either by hitting a used cookie tin with a spoon or a more traditional one, sounding a bamboo stem with a stick or whatever…as long as it is noisy. Someone else is carrying a torch made from danyuh (dried coconut leaves). Other person is assigned to sprinkle tirta (the holly water). The activity is done by going around our house area.

Another religious ceremony is also conducted in our merajan (family temple) and lebuh (area at the front of the gate). After that, we can go to the street to see Ogoh-ogoh parade. This is actually optional, but where’s the fun if we didn’t see the art and creativity of the Balinese people today? This morning, on my way to the market, I have captured some ogoh-ogoh for you when they were still in their banjar halls or streets (waiting to be paraded).




Ogoh-ogoh is a statue as symbol of evil spirit with horrifying character (long sharp nails and large teeth…razor-like!). Every banjar (traditional organization in Bali) will make their ogoh-ogoh and carry it to the nearest park. People will flood the street at around 7 pm, amazed, as one by one ogoh-ogoh is paraded along the street. When the parade finished, all ogoh-ogohs are usually burnt as a symbol that the evil spirit are vanished, leaving the earth and human in a harmonious life.

Now, it is time to say my new year greetings to you all.

Rahajeng Nyepi everyone! Happy Balinese New Year!


12 thoughts on “Ogoh-ogoh (the symbol of evil spirit)

  1. Pingback: A tribute to Nyepi Day | A Simple Note

  2. Ogoh-ogoh becomes the ‘icon’ of our New Year or Nyepi day (Silent day). Ogoh-ogoh are paraded one day before the new year. People love the parade as many artistic creation can be seen.
    Thank you for your kind visit to my blog, Lita!


  3. Pingback: Contemplation (a tribute to Nyepi Day) | A Simple Note

  4. We too have something very similar in South India, Thanks for sharing:) Regards.
    Bhuta Kola – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Bhūta kōla or spirit worship is an ancient ritual form of worship prevalent among the Tulu-speaking community in Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, and Kodagu …

    Liked by 1 person

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