Cappuccino and cake …

A lot of the worlds coffee beans come from Indonesia, and here I am right in the middle of it.
Now, usually I can be found in a  ‘local’  Warung drinking delicious, sweet, black, grainy, Bali coffee out of a cracked glass, but sometimes we spoiled expats like to spend 3 times the usual price ( for the same coffee) to sit in an air-con cafe and drink out of a clean white coffee cup.

… hummm…

Ogoh Ogoh – A spectacular night out in Bali

What a great week we have had in Bali. My previous post mentions the build up to  Nyepi, the day of silence, and the Ogoh Ogoh procession…. before the fact.
So.. . here’s some photos of the Ogoh Ogoh procession night, which was spectacular by the way ! The quality of the photography is pretty bad, they are very hard to shoot as they are moving pretty fast and kids are squirting water everywhere !
It’s times like these that I fall in love with Bali afresh :)

Ogoh Ogoh   –  The night before Nyepi, Bali’s day of silence, Giant Ogoh Ogoh effigies  are paraded through the streets all over Bali. These amazing creations are carried on bamboo platforms and carried by young men along the main roads.  They go into a frenzy at crossroads and are rapidly turned round and round, if you are standing too close you better look out !   Accompanied by laser lights, burning torches and loud clanging music, this is a high energy ceremony and definitely one of Bali’s best night’s out.

Ogoh Ogoh represent Demons or mythological beings and are burnt on the beach the day after Nyepi, the day of silence.  Nyepi starts at 6am the morning after the Ogoh Ogoh procession. It is believed that  these ceremonies will rid the island of bad spirits.  The universe and we humans who live in it are cleansed and we are encouraged to contemplate how we can live harmoniously together.

The build up to Bali’s most exciting ceremony

  Going to the temple with offerings on the days leading up to Nyepi, the Bali Hindu day of silence.

Babi guling, how the Balinese love their pork !

Bakso soto ayam, Chicken soup for the soul..

some unknown drink ingredient, agar agar I think..

Sate, everyone’s hungry after a day at the temple

Nyepi is one on the most unusual events in the Bali Hindu calendar.
This week is the build up to the day of silence which is on Friday the 23rd March. All week ceremonies are being held all over Bali and the hand made effigies ( Ogoh Ogoh )  are being finished off  before being paraded around on Thursday night.
From Friday 6am until Saturday 6am restrictions are in place for everyone in Bali, Tourists included. We are to stay at home, no going out onto the streets at all, in the evening no lights are to be put on. Bali will be in darkness and all will be quiet for this special day of silence. It should be a day of reflection and no entertainment or work should be done during this time.
Even the International airport closes on this day.
On the Nyepi day ceremony people pray for God to cleanse the Universe and all inside the Universe, Humans included.
This is an amazing time to be in Bali, the Ogoh Ogoh parades which take place all over Bali are especially amazing – Ill share photos of them after the event on Thursday night. Also, the day of silence and dark night means that we foreigners have to share the experience with local Hindu Balinese – even if we hold different religious beliefs. I never mind having these restrictions put on me each year,  taking a day out for quiet contemplation is a rare thing and highly valuable no matter what your beliefs are.

Ceremony procession on Jalan Oberoi

Balinese life revolves around their many ceremonies, for foreigners who like things
to be there when we want them, to run on time, be able to do what and when we want…
you’ll be frustrated by Bali.
But if you can be patient in traffic jams in the hot sun you might be delighted to see the
reason behind the traffic pile up…