Bali is famous for its culture and ceremony, one of the biggest ceremony in Bali is called Nyepi or simply called “Days of Silence” that celebrate once a year according to Balinese calendar and it usually happen around middle of March. Apart from Nyepi as the main ceremony, there is a unique ritual on the day before Nyepi which is called “Ngerupuk” as part of the Nyepi, on this day there will be a Ogoh – ogoh paraded that will be held during the night. Ogoh – Ogoh is an evil creature that traditionally made from bamboo by the Banjar and the kids at the local council (nowadays many ogoh – ogoh are made from styrofoam). It took almost a month and half to make this evil creature from the scratch and the youth organisation of the council also will prepare dance and gambelan perfomance to tell the story of their creature.
Let me show you a visual story of Ngerupuk day in my local council from the making of Ogoh – ogoh, dance and Gambelan rehearsal until the big day to perform in my village. My village called Legian Village and there are three Banjars in Legian which is Legian Kelod, Legian Tengah and Legian Kaja. All the Banjar do their best to create the Ogoh – Ogoh from the dance and the Gambelan instrument.
The making of Ogoh – ogoh
My Youth Organisation called ST. Jaya Dharma and for this Ngerupuk day we decided to create Ogoh – Ogoh called KANDA PAT BHUTA. A brief explanation about Kanda Pat Butha, Kanda means brother or siblings, Pat mean four and Bhuta mean Evil, Balinese people believe when we were born into this world we have four brother (siblings) as a sprit come along with us represent as an evil spirit who live with us they are Anggapati represent the East side, Prajapati represent the South, Banaspati represent the West side and Banaspatiraja represent the North side. Based on this story we try to create an Ogoh – ogoh of Kanda Pat Bhuta that appear from the Baby stomach and we also create a Balinese dance and Gambelan instrument to complete the story.
The preparation took almost a month and half to prepare the Ogoh – Ogoh, Dance and Gambelan instrument from the scratch, from making the mask (that we have to create four mask) until the whole body.
The making of the Mask using styrofoam, we bought the styrofoam in blocks and then we draw a face sketch on the styrofoam and we carved it using hot wire so we are able to follow the line sketch as detail as possible. After the styrofoam has been formed into the mask then we use a thin paper and glue to cover the styrofoam to make it more even surface so it will be easier to apply the paint. On the last picture we put the unfinished body into the wire and iron stick as the Ogoh – ogoh based.
The creating of the Dance and Gambelan Instrument
The Dance and Gambelan Instrument are created by the youth of ST. Jaya Dharma, lead by Nova Antara it took one month teach and learn the instrument and the dance. All the dancer and the Gambelan player are the youth from ST. Jaya Dharma, this dance and Gambelan Instrument are different with dance and Gambelan that perform during the ceremony in the tample. The dance and instrument are specially create for the Ogoh – Ogoh perade, the dance are created based on the story of Kanda Pat Bhuta all the move and the sing are connected to the Ogoh – Ogoh.
Twice a week we rehearsed the move and the instrument in Banjar some time we practice until late night and after that we will continue to work with the Ogoh – ogoh, sometime until morning.
The making of “Sanan”
Sanan is one important part in Ogoh – ogoh, is made from bamboo putting across each other and make it into one big square, later on once the Ogoh – ogoh has finish we will put the Ogoh – ogoh on the top of the Sanan by that we will able to carry it together. The Sanan has to be tide up really strong so it will strong enough when we carried the Ogoh – ogoh on top of it, we also need to drill it every joint of the bamboo and put a stick so it will hold even stronger. To make Sanan we need to choose young bamboo instead of the old one, since young bamboo is much stronger and it not easy to crack when we drill it and tide with string.
H-1 To Ngerupuk Day
On the 7 March 2016, Ngerupuk day is getting closer (which is 1 day left to Ngerupuk day) we all suddenly getting busier. We start working on the Ogoh – Ogoh from the morning, the dance and Gambelan rehearsal has started in the afternoon since normally we rehearsed in the evening. The Ogoh – ogoh is still 80% finish, we still need to put the hair and the clothes for the ogoh – ogoh, we also need to resemble the Ogoh – ogoh to put it on top of the Sanan and the most difficult thing to do is to put the Ogoh – ogoh outside of the Banjar.
From paint the Ogoh – ogoh, finishing the mask and resemble all the part of the Ogoh – ogoh, we are working the whole day to finish it and ready for tomorrow. We start working at early morning from 10 o’clock until 8 o’clock morning in the next day. We finish all of the preparation at 12 o’clock middle afternoon on the 8 or March 2016 and the parade will be begin on 19.00 pm at night. After all the preparation is finish we all back to our house to get a shower and pray at our own family temple as a must ritual on the Ngerupuk day, I am lucky to have an hour spare time to take a nap and recharge my camera battery and prepare all the camera gear for tonight.
Ngerupuk Day 8 March 2016
Finally Ngerupuk day has come, we all arrive at the Banjar at 18.00 in the evening by gathering at the Banjar, we all seat ready to pray before perform to wish a blessing to the God so all today activity will run smoothly. The Dancers and are upstairs putting some make up, it is only a simple make up on their faces and they all wear black shirt with our Youth organisation name and logo, they also wear sarong. After finish pray, the leader of the ST. Jaya Dharma give us a quick briefing about how today parade will run this evening. The parade will be starting from our Banjar which is Legian Kelod and we will walk up north onto Double six road while pick up our fellow Banjar friends (Legian Tengah & Legian Kaja). Once the Gambelan start we lift up the Ogoh – ogoh and start to walk, it took us around 1.5 hours to go to first Banjar, because the Ogoh – Ogoh is very tall and big sometimes it difficult us when we try to pass the electricity cable that hang in low on top of us, we need to use a long bamboo stick to tuck the cable so our Ogoh – ogoh able to pass the road.
Once we gathered with all the Banjar we will do our first perform across the Double six road, all the dancer and Gambelan players take their position, the Ogoh – ogoh is put it at the back of the performer will perform first. All that we have practice for the past month are finally come to the big day, all the performer are giving their best to show to the audience what they have been practice for, the gambelan are running smoothly so the dancer as well. The road is full of people at that time, Westerner, Balinese, Domestic tourist, young, old and family all gathered at the Double six cross section watching all the Ogoh – ogoh parade from Legian Village. At the end of the dancer and gambelan performance now is turn the main attraction which is the Ogoh – ogoh to enter the stage, all the “Pecalang” (Balinese guard) are safe the area for the Ogoh – ogoh to enter, the traditional torch made from bamboo that are carry by the ladies guard the area in a circle, The Ogoh – ogoh entering the stage do the wave movement and at the end the will running in circle so the Ogoh – ogoh will move in a circle way in fast movement. this movement is very dangerous some of the Ogoh – ogoh lifter slip and fall in the middle of the Sanan so the Pecalang need to drag him down before everyone step on it, lucky he was ok.
After 2 hours all the three Banjar has finish their performance, and now we will walk to the second stage which is held on the Legian cross section, we will do the same attraction as the first one. The day gone really quickly, in the end of the day all the parade finally finish after 12 o’clock midnight, we need to take our Ogoh – ogoh back to the Banjar take it out from the Sanan and take the mask and all the electricity part, the remain of it will be burn the day after Nyepi.
ST. jaya Dharma
Happy Nyepi from Bali 🙂