A Procession in Ubud

It’s what every visitor on Bali, especially Ubud, dreams of — a ceremony. On my way to Ganesha bookstore along the main road, I noticed lots of people on their Balinese formal wear. A group of men were all seated at the entrance of a “pura” across the bookstore and were all uniformly attired — white shirt, white head wear, and white sarong. Nothing really unusual in Ubud where ceremonies seem to take place everyday.  As I emerged from Ganesha, I saw more people coming up from the road. Hmmmm… I went to Kue next door and took a seat by the large front window while having my slice of Beetroot Cake.

More and more people were coming.  I finished my cake and headed up the street towards the palace.
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Crowds had lined the road and anticipation hung in the air.
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Something was going to take place.  I took a spot in front of Corner Warung and inquirec with a young father  was seated at the warung’s steps with his young sons what was happening.  A procession of “ojeh ojeh” was going to take place.  These were the large statues made of styrofoam used in processions. I had seen one in a banjar in Tihingan.

Soon the procession announced its arrival with loud gamelan music composed of bonang, agong, ceng-ceng.
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The first ojeh arrived and it lots of kids joyfully carried it.
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Behind were the musicians who made really loud and exciting music with its clashing ceng ceng.
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There were several ojeh and each was paraded by a particular group who would rock the image side to side and at times even bounce it. The musicians brought up the rear of the parade. It was all really fun to watch.

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This ojeh had a tail so the men carrying it were bouncing it around to make it move.
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The parade took up the entire main road. At one point it stopped and I noticed the men were given eater in sealed cups and they opened it, too a few gulps then sprayed the ojeh with the remaining water.
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This group even had a trompong on wheels.
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And an agong player rode on the agong frame on wheels.
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One of the unique instruments I saw was an ensemble of frame drums that looked like kompang.
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The last group of musicians that brought up the rear of the entire parade were all very energetic and whenever they stopped they would sometimes punctuate the ceng ceng with syncopated shouts of cak.
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From the main road, the parade turned right at the palace and continued down the entire length of the street.

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