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Listed under Festivals in Denpasar, Indonesia.

Photo of Nyepi
Photo by flickr user purplbutrfly
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Nyepi is the Hindu festival of New Year, and is celebrated – in somewhat unusual fashion – with a day of silence, stillness and introspection. Though tourist hotels are exempt from the custom, visitors are expected to remain in their accommodation and not disturb the day’s peaceful ambience.In contrast, the days leading up to Nyepi involve lively festivities. Three days before Nyepi is the ceremony of melasti, when statues of the gods are carried to local rivers in colourful processions, before being ‘cleansed’ ready for the New Year. On the eve of Nyepi itself, villages compete to build the biggest, ugliest Ogoh-Ogoh - giant bamboo figures which represent evil spirits and monsters, before carrying them through the streets in torchlight processions. The Ogoh-Ogoh are then burnt on great bonfires, symbolizing the exorcism of evil spirits from the lives of the Balinese people.

Written by  Eleanor Dean.

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