adrian is rad


photo essay: bali death parade

Filed under: — adrian @ 5:28 am

Driving into Ubud from Kuta when I was in Bali, we saw a lot of floats in the street. We asked the driver and it turns out that there was a parade that day commemorating the day. We got various stories about who it was for, whether it was for anyone at all. It was an annual parade, or it was for the husband of a woman we talked to, or it was for a baby that had died a couple weeks prior. Or it might have been a combination, a planned parade but when the baby or the husband died, they became part of it.

The plan, we learned, was to parade these floats about a kilometer and then burn the floats. As it was tradition, all the men, including my group, all wore sarongs.

Some floats prepared on the road.

Everyone turned out, it seemed.

It took quite a bit of coordination to lift each of the floats.

There was a lot of noise and excitement as the parade started.

On some of the floats, younger boys road up top.

There was a music group from the local school marching along with instruments from the gamelan tradition.

People who didn’t walk along the route with the parade watched as it went past.

At the end of the parade route at the cemetery area, all the floats were lined up around the edge of the area. Every family in town prepared an offering which were then placed in the floats before they were burned.

After a lull in the excitement there was a lot of yelling off to one side. Suddenly I realized that the locals had dug up some (apparently recently buried) bodies. Wrapped in thatched blankets, they were rushed over and placed in the floats amid a flurry of yells.

This man was the man with the matches, one presumes an important person on this day.

One float with offerings lined up around it and in the back.

Everything goes up in flames.

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