I tempt explosive energy . . . serpents, devils, evil.
Today is the night before Nyepi (“nippy” for the uninitiated) on the exotic isle Bali.
At this very moment a godawful torrential downpour has unleashed awesome domination over my Bali Lotus Villa, which lies not far from the otherwise serene village of Ubud. Nyepi has descended with vengeance this year. I sit here inundated as the night’s torrent lashes nearby palm fronds and coconuts fall . . . thud . . . unable to maintain grip.
Yes, I’m wet and overly fearful of what lies in wait.
Animistic Balinese gods have announced their prowess . . . or so it seems.
Nyepi is an annual event when evil spirits fly above Bali to test wayward souls. It’s a day when the island falls totally silent. No one is allowed on the streets. No flight lands on this heavenly isle of four million souls. I kid you not. Lights light not this night for the devout.
If evil spirits spot no movement . . . they bypass Bali . . . otherwise they attack.
Google “Nyepi'” if you doubt my words.
Locals remain fearful. Extreme tourism grinds to a dead halt. The Balinese shutter their windows on this diabolical day. Blackness prevails and Nyepi monsters rule the night.
I gift you my photos captured at great peril on this eve before Nyepi.
Zesty youths gladly test their manliness toting bestial replicas in defiance and challenge.
Don’t be put off by the swastika. This emblem of Sanskrit origin dates back to the Bronze Age long before the Holocaust. It’s an ancient symbol seen in the art of Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Celts, Native Americans and Persians including Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and the Balinese. Its right-hand, clockwise orientation represents the sun and the Hindu god Vishnu.
The Nazi symbol possessed adverse orientation and an infinitely reversed implication.
“Ogoh-ogoh” represent demonic spirits. These fiercely potent ogres of the night are made of bamboo and paper and symbolize malevolent omens . . . demons to ward off demons. Such objet d’art scare off evil spirits that ruthlessly ply the skies above Bali daring doubters.
Those who wander the streets on this day of silence risk death . . . as legend goes. Nevertheless, youthful Balinese males remain brawny and brave and virile on the night preceding Nyepi despite risky exposure to their manhood . . . or so most locals attest.
One defies Nyepi at great peril.
The next day is the Balinese New Year . . . if one lives through the night’s attack intact.
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