Every year in Bali we have a ‘NYEPI DAY‘ as a Silence day, which officially starts from 6am and ends on 6am the next day. As a resident of Bali for almost 9 years now, I have experienced this ‘black out’ day for 8 times now. The Hindus/Balinese stay at home, no light, no work, some even do fasting – totally silence (and save energy too!!). Back then in the 80’s I remember only tourists buses from airport were allowed to do the guests transfer, but the policy and rule have changed. It is now a total silence & dark day for both locals and visitors.
But tourism industry seems taking benefit from this religious event, by offering so many packages of Nyepi Break, staying 2 nights,3 days in a hotel with all inclusive package. I ‘ve tried that too, playing cards with friends, watching movies, the next year, stayed at home, have all windows covered with thick papers, still those ‘pecalang‘ managed to switch off my electricity meter as they must’ve heard the TV noise from my room. Argrrhh… can’t I just live normal for 5 minutes.
But one cool thing from Nyepi day, is the Ogoh Ogoh parade, one night before, the Nyepi Day, called Pengrupukan Day, where they made all these beasts, giant creatures in all classics, traditional, even cartoon characters such as spongebob, dora emon, even punk rocker shapes! – all displayed first at their respective ‘Banjar‘, and parade them after along the street with gongs and flame of torches. There’s always a good moment to capture some great shots of young people carrying their Ogoh Ogoh. They even made a festival, judge them, with a winner for the best Ogoh Ogoh.
In 2009 Denpasar Municipal government has announced a prohibition to have an Ogoh Ogoh Parade as an Legislative Election is being held, any big crowd gathering would have a chaos potential, and the government wants to secure this big politic event at any cost. I see that Bali now might lost and probably has lost many big projects for community that usually generate business for local people. Making Ogoh ogoh costs lost of money, and for Ogoh ogoh makers this means big business! One beast price varies between 1 – 5 millions, even more for an over the top model!
But I heard this recommendation is only valid for Denpasar area, I noticed some area in Badung Regency, for example in Seminyak and Kuta, those kids already started to build their giant green beast. I wish I could escape the island for this year, but the flight tickets to Java or Lombok cost so much as the airline industry also knows this is the time for them to make more business…