- Title: INDONESIA: FESTIVAL OF DEMONS
- Date: 20th February 2005
- Summary: BOY AMONG CROWD ONLOOKERS WATCHING FROM TREE
- Embargoed: 7th March 2005 12:00
- Location: BALI, INDONESIA
- Country: Indonesia
- Topics: Arts
- Reuters ID: LVACLGN3EOMKQ640OT03O3BNM5BH
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- Story Text: A parade of demons marks anniversary of Balinese capital.
Celebrating its anniversary, the city of Denpasar -- provincial capital of Indonesia's island of Bali -- recently held a two-day festival of demons.
Colourful effigies, depicting the evil spirits, were paraded through the city's main crossroad crowded by thousands of curious onlookers.
Each effigy, known as ogoh-ogoh, is traditionally paraded on the eve of Balinese New Year by every village across the predominantly Hindu island.
Communally built by youths from each village, the making of the ogoh-ogoh has become a friendly competition between various groups.
The bigger, more dramatic, and scarier an ogoh-ogoh is, the more it will be admired.
Even though most of the ogoh-ogoh typically depict images from classical Balinese folklore, some have more modern characters than the traditional demons with bulging eyes, fangs and scary hair-do.
Accompanied by Balinese gamelan music, the ogoh-ogoh are paraded on a bamboo platform with movements symbolising the volatile temperament of the evil monsters.
Balinese Hindus observe their New Year with seclusion day, where they abstain from worldly activities, staying indoor in silence and without the use of electricity.
Each effigy from the recently held festival of demons will be paraded next month on the main crossroad of its village of origin, before it is set on fire on New Year's eve as part of an exorcism ceremony symbolising the expulsion of evil spirits.
The main crossroads of villages throughout Bali are believed to be the meeting place of demons.
This year's Balinese New Year falls on March 11.
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