Festivals in Indonesia – What time to visit, History

Festivals in Indonesia

Top 10 Most Vivid Festivals in Indonesia

Festivals in Indonesia

Indonesia is a popular holiday destination in Southeast Asia. Apart from Bali and volcanic mountains, Indonesia is also famous for its rich culture and colorful festivals. Indonesia is famous for celebrating various religious festivals because it is made up of 17, 000 islands. Each region has its own cultural celebrations at different times of the year. The country has six main religions Protestantism, Islam, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. So, all the religious festivals are celebrated in Indonesia and given public holidays too.

Giving you an insider tip, many festivals are held in August. So plan a trip around it. Another thing to take note, the festivals in Indonesia don’t have a fixed date. As they follow the cycles of the moon, making it change every year.

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Here are the 10 best festivals in Indonesia, you must enjoy.


1. National Day

National Day is additionally called Indonesian Independence Day and is that the day that Indonesia formally declared independence from the Dutch colonialists in 1945. As you’d expect, this celebration is held across the archipelago and takes place on the 17th of August each year. Each part of Indonesia has its own way of celebrating the legal holiday, although parties are usually held furthermore as competitions where competitors complete feats like climbing poles that are covered in grease to win a prize. There also are military parades in many parts of the country and every one town and village are decorated with Indonesian flags and ribbons.


2.The Pasola Festival

The Pasola Festival is exclusive to the Indonesian island of Sumba and is one of the fastest-paced and action-packed festivals within the archipelago. Two men on horseback charge at one another and check out to knock their opponent from his horse employing a traditional spear. The festival is quite a fearsome sight if you’ve got never seen anything like this before, but actually, it’s meant to act as a blessing so that crops will flourish within the coming year and there’ll be enough food to eat. The Pasola Festival usually takes place at the top of February or the start of March and is made from a standard jousting match.


3. The Bau Nyale Fishing Festival

The Bau Nyale Fishing Festival is held each year on the island of Lombok, although the date is changeable and is one of every of the less well-known festivals in Indonesia. The festival is supposed to honor the legend of a Sasak princess who drowned in Lombok and therefore the main activity is catching fish in her memory. It’s usually held around the end of February or the start of March and might be a great sight to work out if you wish to find out more about the standard Sasak culture which is exclusive to Lombok. This festival isn’t a public holiday across Indonesia because it is exclusive to Lombok, but it’s well worth a visit if you’re within the area for a glimpse of 1 of the foremost interesting legends within the country.


4. Nyepi

Nyepi is widely known across Indonesia because of the ‘Day of Silence’ and is additionally a public holiday altogether parts of the country. Nyepi is really the beginning of the Balinese twelvemonth, so although it’s a national holiday, it’s only celebrated on the island of Bali itself. This can be one of the foremost famous and important Bali festivals, so it is well worth experiencing once if you’re in town at the correct time. Nyepi has scheduled in step with the moon cycle that the dates change each year, although it’s usually held in March. On the particular day of Nyepi itself, if you’re in Bali, you’ll not be able to leave your hotel or guesthouse and even the airport is closed for the day. You’re also technically not allowed to show on lights or use electrical appliances. The explanation for this is often that the Balinese believe that ghosts fly over the island nowadays and, if they see it in complete darkness, will think it’s uninhabited and can leave it alone for one more year. the sole reason you’re allowed to venture outside during this day is that if you’ve got an emergency like desperate to seek medical treatment.


5. The Bidar Race

The Bidar Race is prevailed the scenic Musi River in Palembang in Sumatra and is well worth a visit if you’re during this part of Indonesia. The race takes place in boats that are styled as traditional wooden canoes and painted a series of eye-catching colors. Several teams race against one another to work out who is that the fastest and there are a variety of heats as different teams go head to move to be crowned the winner. Like many festivals in Indonesia, this takes place in August each year, usually some days before National Day.


6. Waisak

Waisak is a Buddhist festival in Indonesia as Buddhism is one of the six officially recognized religions within the country. The ceremony could be a public holiday across Indonesia although the most ceremony takes place at Borobudur temple which is additionally the biggest Buddhist temple anywhere within the world. This can be one of every of Indonesia’s main religious celebrations and also the festival is held in honor of the birth of mystic. It’s also planned per the phases of the moon but it falls on the complete moon in either May or the start of June. If you propose to create the trip to Borobudur, which is on the outskirts of the town of Yogyakarta, then bear in mind that this can be a considered an annual pilgrimage for several Buddhist devotees and monks during Waisak which mean that it’s likely to be very crowded.


7. The Krakatoa Festival

The Krakatoa Festival is held in Lampung in Java and is another Indonesian celebration that’s focused on a volcano. The festival usually takes place in August and it features a spread of attractions like a fireworks show and a colorful parade. Because the name suggests, the festival is held in honor of Krakatoa Volcano which was once the positioning of 1 of the biggest volcanic eruptions within the world. You’ll also get to determine graceful elephants making their way through the streets likewise as dance performances and competitions.


8. The Baliem Valley Festival

The Baliem Valley Festival takes place in Papua Province and is typically held in August although the dates are subject to vary. The festival is employed as a prosperity ritual and is additionally mean to act as a fertility blessing. The most event at the festival consists of various groups who board the encompassing area who then close and pretend to fight one another during a series of mock battles. These can seem quite fearsome up close, although they’re meant to be wont to promote good luck for the year ahead.


9. Galungan

Galungan is a Hindu ceremony that’s performed in Bali and is supposed to mark the time when the spirits of ancestors return home. During this point, people in Bali have dance performances and competitions and also lay offerings to appease the spirits. The tip of the Galungan holiday is sometimes marked as a public holiday in Bali although it’s not observed by the remainder of Indonesia. The dates of the ceremony change each year because it is calculated in line with the lunisolar calendar which runs for 210 days rather than 365. You ought to also expect it to be rather noisy as letting off firecrackers is common as the way of scaring away any evil spirits which will be lurking nearby.


10. The Kesodo Ceremony

The Kesodo Ceremony takes place once a year in August. The ceremony is found at the stunning Mount Bromo on the island of Java which is thought for being a still-active volcano. Each year locals come to the mountain and produce offerings and perform prayers to make sure that the volcano doesn’t erupt again within the year that follows the ceremony. If you’re already attending to hike up Mount Bromo, then it’s well worth timing this so you’ll also watch the ceremony at the identical time.

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