Hindus carry ogoh-ogoh, or giant puppets, during a ceremony in Serang, Banten, on Monday (27/03) ahead of the Nyepi celebration. (Antara Photo/Asep Fathulrahman)

Balinese Hindus to Parade 7,000 Giant Puppets Ahead of Nyepi Celebration


MARCH 27, 2017

Jakarta. The Balinese community has prepared more than 7,000 giant puppets, known as ogoh-ogoh, to be paraded across the island ahead of the Nyepi celebration on Tuesday (28/03).

Bali Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Adj. Hengky Widjaja said the puppets can be seen in several precincts, including Buleleng, Gianyar and Denpasar.

Police have deployed 5,626 officers, assisted by more than 22,000 traditional security guards, known as pecalang, to secure the parades.

"We hope the embodiment of ogoh-ogoh may remind the congregation on the victory of Dharma [good deeds] over Adharma [bad deeds]. Not the embodiment that will cause friction, over sensitive issues such as issues of race, religion, ethnicity or group affiliation, radicalism and intolerance," Hengky said.

The parades will take place in various locations on the island, with police preparing measures to prevent any possible disruptions.

Hengky called on tourists and residents to respect the religious celebration, which requires all Balinese Hindus to stay at home for a day of reflection.

"As the activities are based on religious values of the Nyepi celebration, members of the public should be focused on the religious [activities]. We should leave other issues aside that may disrupt, or even destroy the sanctity of the Nyepi celebration this year," the police spokesman said on Monday.

He also advised the public to find alternative roads to avoid traffic jams during the parades.

The giant puppets that represent negative characteristics serve as reminders to Hindus to always remain positive and wise.

The annual ogoh-ogoh parades have become famous among domestic and foreign tourists, as they show off the artistic skills of the Balinese people to create their versions of the giant puppets.