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Jakarta Post

No ‘ogoh-ogoh’ parades, large crowds during Nyepi

  • Sausan Atika and Ni Komang Erviani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta/Denpasar   /   Thu, March 26 2020   /  12:53 am

The COVID-19 outbreak in Indonesia has undeniably impacted how religious communities observe their traditions.

On Wednesday, Balinese Hindus will observe Nyepi (Day of Silence), which marks the Balinese New Year and is reserved for self-reflection.

In Bali, Nyepi is synonymous with deserted beaches, empty streets and lights switched off at night. Nyepi is the only day of the year when Bali‘s airport and seaports close. Everyone, regardless of their religion, must remain in their house or hotel during Nyepi.

The isolation during Nyepi in a way resembles social distancing, unlike the rituals prior to and following Nyepi, which usually involve large crowds.

Amid growing concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak, Bali Governor Wayan Koster has banned all ogoh-ogoh (menacing-looking giant effigies) parades across the province, not even a short march around small neighb...