There will be no Ogoh-Ogoh parade this year to mark the Balinese Day of Silence or Nyepi, religious authorities have announced, along with other limitations declared ahead of celebrations of the holy day due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a circular signed by Bali Governor Wayan Koster, the head of Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (PHDI) in Bali I Gusti Ngurah Sudiana, and the chief of Bali’s traditional village council Ida Panglingsir Agung Putra Sukahet, Nyepi celebrations are still allowed with certain limits imposed, such as the number of participants, location, and duration across several ceremonies that are traditionally synonymous with Nyepi, which falls on March 14 this year.
This also includes limiting ceremonies to only 50 people at the most, prohibiting the lighting of firecrackers, and mandatory strict adherence to COVID-19 health protocols.
In addition, the Ogoh-Ogoh parades, which usually take place on the eve of Nyepi, have been cancelled for this year.
“Religiously speaking, it is not an obligation,” Putra said. “What’s most important is to prioritize public health.”
Ogoh-Ogoh are menacing-looking effigies, which have become a modern tradition in the last few decades among Balinese youths as they compete to create the most magnificent models and parade them on the streets of Bali.
The province recorded its highest daily tally yet, at 494 cases, only last Wednesday. As of yesterday, Bali has reported 23,950 COVID-19 cases.