Purging Fears

Hobart, in Tasmania, must be fast becoming the bravest city in the world, as more and more of our fears and worries are getting burned into oblivion, with another Ogoh-Ogoh being burnt to a crisp on the last day of the Dark Mofo Festival.   During the week, Hobartians were invited to write their fears and worries down and deposit them into Ogoh-Ogoh.

Ogoh
Ogoh-Ogoh procession

The annual Balinese festival has been adopted by Tasmania, with a bit of adaption. The Balinese festival aims to restore alignment between the seen world of humans and animals and the unseen world of the spirits.  Large and often ugly Ogoh-Ogoh figures are jostled and turned in circles to confuse them and then burnt, sending the spirits off with the smoke. Then the whole island of Bali observes a day of silence.

Ogoh-Ogoh nest
Ogoh-Ogoh’s nest and tree

Hobart’s Ogoh-Ogoh this year is the swift parrot.

fear container
Hobart’s fear container being moved into position
nestling in
Nestling in – poor thing doesn’t know what is about to happen
burning
The base of the tree is lit and the loudest procession of fire crackers and fireworks go off
burning1
the burning

… and then everything burns and we exit fearless and brave, with our ears ringing and dodging large bits of falling burning embers.

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