#indonesia - page 4

The Balinese Art of Monster-making

in Culture/Destinations/Recreation/Shops by
nyepi ogoh ogoh bali art

Nyepi is the first day of the Saka lunar calendar, a sacred occasion in Bali when people stay indoors for quiet reflection. For many visitors in Bali during this time of year, the message is strong and simple, for respecting ‘Silent Day’ is mandatory: stay in, turn off the lights and be quiet. From dawn until dawn, the island completely shuts down, including the airport. Only pecalang (neighbourhood security) go out in public, whilst everyone else takes time for personal reflection at home.

What more is there to know about the annual Nyepi holy day in Bali, and what do the papier-mâché monsters in the streets have to do with it?

paksi ireng crow ogoh ogoh

Arts are integral to Balinese culture, and the Balinese have a long history as accomplished woodworkers, stone sculptors, gold- and silversmiths, and textile- and basket-weavers, as well as being ingenious horticulturalists. Balinese artisan crafts, ceremonial customs, daily offerings, performance arts, masks, costumes, adornments and agricultural traditions are all ways of life which honour the values of Balinese Hindu ideology; at the crux a divine balance between people, God and nature.

Balinese customs preceding Nyepi are all about maintaining this trinity, known as the Tri Hita Karana, by cleansing, warding off all evil forces and giving selfless offerings before the start of the new year.

bamboo frame

The great task of ridding the island of a year’s worth of evils is taken care of by giant ogoh-ogoh statues of mythological witches, grotesque demons or modern anti-heroes.

Just one of the many essential rituals surrounding Nyepi, the ogoh-ogoh are paraded around by their creators in raucous processions late into the night on the eve of Nyepi. They scare away or encapsulate bad entities, then get set on fire at the cemetery to burn to complete non-existence.

ohoh ogoh head

Despite their short lifespans, ogoh-ogoh can be elaborate monstrosities with impressive construction and attention to detail. A popular and visually stunning trend is to create artworks which appear to hover in thin air or connect multiple figures in a dynamic pose. In each of Bali’s thousands of banjars (community organizations), young adults begin making an ogoh-ogoh weeks or even months in advance of Nyepi.

Many adults can’t resist joining in this artistic tradition. Local Bali tattoo artist and graphic designer Putu Marmar Herayukti is one of them.

Keep Reading

Villas with Tennis Courts

in Destinations by
Photo of Tennis courts in Bali

At all Elite Havens, luxury accommodation is matched with a team of staff to look after every guest with superb service and cuisine. Many of the villas have extra perks – making them dream wedding venues, romantic retreats, the best villas for yoga, family fun or elite tennis villas. To score a villa with a court and learn from a highly qualified international tennis coach, enquire about our tennis packages. reservations@elitehavens.com

Villa Batujimbar – Sanur, Bali

Villa Batujimbar exemplifies everyone’s dream of a luxury Bali villa. A 20-metre swimming pool, private tennis court, air-conditioned gym, and private chef and personal round-the-clock butlers elevate your residency to regal levels.
See more

Pandawa Cliff Estate – The Bukit, Bali

As the estate’s name suggests, the villas are on a cliff-top overlooking Pandawa Beach. The complex offers a sports centre with full-size tennis court, squash court, gym and spa, as well as a dedicated playroom for the kids.
See more

Villa Ombak Laut – Cemagi, Bali

True athletes and adventurers, meet your match. Ombak Laut boasts two sparkling swimming pools, a private tennis court, a games room with billiard table, table tennis and bicycles for exploring the surrounding rice fields and villages.
See more

Arnalaya Beach House – Canggu, Bali

Families and sports fiends will adore the private tennis court with its ball machine and huge racket selection, pool, gym, spa and perfectly placed yoga platforms to catch the sunrise and watch over the Hindu rituals at a nearby fisherman’s temple.
See more

Kaba Kaba Estate – Tabanan, Bali

Within the extensive gardens is a superb tennis court, croquet lawn, a 25-metre swimming pool as well as two plunge pools (one serving the master suite and the other adjoining a guest suite), a children’s wading pool, lotus ponds and a duck pond… complete with resident ducks. With its multiple-pavilion layout and magnificent facilities, Kaba Kaba estate is perfect for two or three families who love holidaying together while enjoying their own breathing space.
See more

Villa Sapi – Sira Beach, Lombok

An extensive array of activities is available to guests of Villa Sapi,

Keep Reading

Go to Top