Nyepi – Bali’s official day of island-wide silence will fall on Thursday, 03 March 2022.
In keeping with local tradition, the night before Nyepi, 02 March 2022, will be marked with street parades across the island and mardi-gras-like parades of papier-mache effigies (ogoh-ogoh) created by members of local community halls (banjars).
Traditionally riotous affairs hosted on crowded village and city streets, Nyepi parades have been canceled over the past two years due to COVID-19 mandates from the government. The government plans to allow limited celebrations of Nyepi (Tahun Baru Saka 1944) on 02 March 2022, coordinated by the Task Force for COVID-19 Mitigation (Satgas).
By government order, restricted, scaled-down pre-Nyepi parades will be limited to a maximum of 50 participants, with parade routes limited to areas near the Banjar that created each ogoh ogoh.
Rules governing Nyepi festivities and the creation of ogoh-ogoh are contained in a circular memorandum issued by the Council of Traditional Villages in Bali (Majelis Desa Adat Provinsi Bali) – (No-more 009/SE/MDA-Prov Bali /XII/2021. SE).
I Gusti Made Ngurah of MDA-Bali said the circular memorandum issued by his organization sets restrictions and standards for ogoh-ogoh parades reflecting precautions needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
As reported by NusaBali.com, among the stipulations to be followed in Bali on the evening before Nyepi are:
- Ogoh-ogoh effigies must be made by traditional Bali-Hindu organizations, such as the local Banjar, paiketan krama (village women’s association), or yowana (youth organizations).
- The creation of an ogoh-ogoh can only be undertaken with the permission of the traditional village head and the local Task Force for the Control of COVID-19.
- Every authorized group is allowed to make only a single ogoh-ogoh,
- Each authorized ogoh-ogoh can be hoisted via a local area parade involving no more than 50 procession participants.
- The ogoh-ogoh parades must be confined to the local village of the respective Banjar.
- Festivities and parades must end by 8:00 pm.
- The construction process of the ogoh-ogoh and conduct of the pre-Nyepi parade must be done following Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environmental Sustainability (CHSE) protocols.
- Those involved in creating and parading an ogoh-ogoh must be fully vaccinated and present a negative rapid test antigen test.
- Anyone with a high body temperature, flu symptoms, or feeling unwell cannot follow ogoh-ogoh parade activities.
- All ogoh-ogoh projects must have a guarantor who can be held responsible if any COVID-19 rules are disobeyed.
- Ogoh-ogoh effigies must be made from natural materials with the use of plastics and Styrofoam forbidden.
Unspecified sanctions and penalties will be invoked against ogoh-ogoh teams or their guarantor who fails to follow the stipulations listed above.