The magnificent ogoh-ogoh are demonic creatures paraded up and down the streets of virtually every village in Bali on the day before Nyepi. Made of used paper and cement they are symbols of bad spirits. At the end of the day's ceremonies, the ogoh-ogoh are burned as a symbol of the winning of "Dharma—truth and good" against "Adharma—evil and bad". The eve of Nyepi is a night of noise and carrying on of all sorts with instruments, yelling and fireworks to attract the attention of the evil spirits on the last day of the year. When the evil spirits arrive just before dawn on Nyepi day, we are all hiding and quiet. The evil spirits look around and finding nothing of interest they leave for another year.
In January, the governing leaders decided to ban the making of ogoh-ogoh this year because it might disturb the peaceful atmosphere of Nyepi and would coincide closely with the upcoming elections. According to others, it was feared that some of the ogoh-ogoh might possibly resemble some of the candidates. I sketched these creatures from pictures in the local newspaper, books and photos adding some of my own touches. I could have painted them all day!