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.
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.
Hobart’s Ogoh-Ogoh this year is the swift parrot.
… and then everything burns and we exit fearless and brave, with our ears ringing and dodging large bits of falling burning embers.