Hindu community in Bali will celebrate two holidays successively in March 2013. They are Nyepi of Caka New Year 1935 falling on Tuesday (Mar 12) and Galungan, the day of the victory of dharma over adharma, on Wednesday (Mar 27). Nevertheless, the Hindu community in Bali seems to get accustomed because it has become a tradition. In practice, both ritual activities are unique. It is not only becoming a sustainable cultural procession, but also a medium of artistic creativity for the youth. It is started with a ritual called melasti or melis aimed to purify the sanctified effigies and ritual paraphernalia to the sea, lake or springs in accordance with conditions and local customs.
After that, it is resumed with pengerupukan or tawur kesanga ritual as a series of Nyepi or Day of Silence. The ritual is held earlier on Monday (Mar 11). In the ritual procession, it is presented the ogoh-ogoh or papier mâché demon. It does not belong to the series of ritual, but has become a tradition. Activities and artistic creativity of younger generation jazz up the festivity. Nearly at all villages, the youth parade ogoh-ogoh and many of them perform it accompanied with choreography like accompanying music, theme, story and orderly fashion. Its appearance is just like street art staged directly in a simple and indefinite stage. The tradition of parading the ogoh-ogoh seems to have become a trend in this era.
On the following day, Monday, March 12, is the Caka New Year falling once a year where the Hindus perform four abstinences for 24 hours, from the sunrise to sunrise on the following day. The four abstinences are lighting no fire (amati geni), doing no activity (amati karya), no traveling (amati lelungan) and enjoying no recreation or pleasure (amati lelanguan). (BTN/015)
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