Bali authorities to limit Nyepi celebrations following social distancing advisory

Ogoh-ogoh statues made by different neighborhoods in South Bali’s Pecatu are lined up before the big parade on March 16, 2018. Photo: Jan Glenn/Coconuts Bali
Ogoh-ogoh statues made by different neighborhoods in South Bali’s Pecatu are lined up before the big parade on March 16, 2018. Photo: Jan Glenn/Coconuts Bali

Authorities in Bali today announced a number of limitations for celebrations around the Balinese Day of Silence or Nyepi on March 25, along with the expectations that local residents will still adhere to previous advisories from the central and provincial governments amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. 

The circular, signed by Bali Governor Wayan Koster, the head of Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (PHDI) in Bali I Gusti Ngurah Sudiana, and the chief of Bali’s traditional village council Ida Panglingsir Agung Putra Sukahet, places limits on the number of participants, location and duration of several ceremonies and parades that are traditionally synonymous with Nyepi. 

This includes the Ogoh-Ogoh parade that usually takes place on the eve of Nyepi, which they note as not being an “obligation” for Hindus in celebration of the holy day. 

“Which is why it’s better that Ogoh-Ogoh parade does not take place,” the circular reads. 

However, should the public decide to go on with the parade, it must be done between 5 and 7pm on March 24 and within the area of their local banjar, or local community organization, under the authority of the local village chief. 

“It cannot go on beyond that [time],” Sudiana said, as quoted by Kumparan.

The Bali provincial government yesterday declared an “alert” level status for the island as part of an effort to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by an advisory for local residents to stay at home and avoid crowded places. 

As of yesterday, the latest official updates in Bali show that 75 people are being monitored for COVID-19, while 52 others have tested negative for the viral disease. The island has so far recorded one positive case, who is also the first COVID-19 death in the whole of Indonesia.

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