Thousands of people celebrated the winter solstice in Hobart with a Balinese demon-purging Ogoh-Ogoh procession and burning ritual. The event was a highlight of MONA’s midwinter Dark Mofo festival, which ran from 10 to 21 June 2016.
Each year, Dark Mofo attracts crowds of up to 10,000 people each night. There are fun and creative events such as the City of Hobart Dark Mofo Winter Feast and a large public art precinct appropriately named Dark Park.
Ogoh ogoh Bali
A highlight this year was the paper-mache ogoh-ogoh Bali monster, designed to resemble a weedy sea dragon.
The ogoh ogoh Bali was created by Balinese artists with the help of staff and students from the University of Tasmania.
During the first week of the mid-winter festival, guests were invited to write down their fears and pin them to the effigy.
Then on the night before the winter solstice, everyone banged pots and pans in a noisy procession from Parliament Lawns to Dark Park.
At Dark Park, the ogoh-ogoh was set alight.
The burning of the ogoh-ogoh was a symbolic burning away of fears.
What is Dark Mofo?
Dark Mofo brings Tasmanians together to embrace the longest and darkest night each year.
The Balinese ogoh-ogoh ceremony is a perfect match for the festival as it is a way to cleanse fears while looking forward to the days becoming longer.
This cross-cultural exchange added to the rich cultural fabric of Dark Mofo.
The Balinese ogoh-ogoh ceremony was such a success you can probably expect stronger ties between Dark Mofo and Indonesia’s people and culture in future.
The event was sponsored by the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism (Wonderful Indonesia), Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia for Victoria and Tasmania, and the Ministry of Education and Culture.
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