Indonesia is a diverse country and thus, enjoys a rich culture and tradition. This country is a home for more than two hundred and thirty million people with various religious and cultural backgrounds. This huge population makes the country a mixture of a lot of festivals, cultural events, and ceremonies.
Indonesia is populated with different ethnic groups, languages, and religions. Even the minorities have a huge list of their local celebrations. You will never be short of choices regarding days for celebration, throughout the year there is some or the other kind of special or important day that needs to be celebrated or has some kind of religious belief attached with it. Come around and take a look at the different religious beliefs of this beautiful country.
Colourful & unique festivals in Indonesia
1. Rambu Solo Ceremony
This festival is also known as Toraja Funeral Ceremony. Usually, between July and September, this is celebrated all over Indonesia by a group of people called Torja. Tana Toraja is the land of Toraja, a highland situated in Southern Sulawesi. Toraja is a group of minor people who believe in a lot of rituals and ancient rites, this place is also known as “the land of heavenly kings”. These people perform quite fascinating funeral rites to send the spirit of the dead or mark their new journey to the afterworld in order to prevent any kind of miss happening to the deceased family.
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2. Nyepi: “The day of silence”
This is the day that marks the beginning of the new year according to the Balinese calendar. The Saka new Year, commemorated every Isaaawarsa base on Balinese calendar, is mostly celebrated around the month of March but might change every year. This observes a day of fasting and meditation, so, you will find everything is closed in Bali that day. Many rituals, ceremonies, prayers are done on the days preceding it. This is celebrated by all the people of Bali, together.
3. Jember Fashion Carnival
As by the name we all can sense that this festival marks the fashion trend of Indonesia. This festival is known to be the icon of east Java’s contemporary culture. This day fashion parades can be seen, as spellbinding as ever, and marking the spectacular modern costumes that define the root of multiple traditions and cultures across Indonesia.
Around 1,000 participants from all over Indonesia starting from kindergarten students to general public come together to acknowledge this amazing carnival. Drums, flutes and many instruments power up this enchanting festival.
4. Baliem Valley Festival
This festival is celebrated around the month of August. This is celebrated by different groups of tribal people. There is a belief that streams in the heart of these people that “war is not just a conflict but also a symbol of fertility and prosperity.” The festival is about the mock war between the local tribes, around 30 to 40 people from 20 different tribes come in their traditional dress and fight against each other.
Sekaten is one of the traditional festivals in Islamic celebration and this marks as well as acknowledges the day of the birth of the prophet Muhammad. It is celebrated in the week of his birthday every year. This festival is time for some social stratification in the country and non-Muslims are taught about Islam, also converted towards the end of the celebration. The entire week-long celebration is designed and centered towards attracting non-Muslims to the celebration by including events such as prayer, music, and any spectacular parade. The final goal of Sekaten ceremony is the convection of non-Muslims to Islam and this festival is held annually in the Javanese month of Maulud.
This is celebrated in the month of February and March. Pasola is the main attraction of many places across East Nusa Tenggara. This is one of the most enchanting and renowned festivals celebrated across the world. People acquire a seat on horses and throw hola on each other to unseat the opponent. It is a Sumba Ritual which aims to keep the spirits happy.
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Since Indonesia is the place and home for Buddhism, this festival is counted as one of the most important festivals here. This marks and acknowledges the birth, enlightenment, and death of Lord Buddha. The whole of Indonesia is decorated very beautifully. This is celebrated at the time of May and June. It is a huge day for all the Buddhist monks and pilgrims.
An important Hindu festival in Bali, it is celebrated for welcoming the gods, inviting them as well as the ancestral spirits to dwell in the homes of their descendants. During this festival, incantations and firecrackers are used as a symbol to drive off evil spirits, while expressing gratitude to the Gods by inviting them down to earth with celebrations, offerings and dancing.
9. Independence day
Well, not only in Indonesia but throughout the world Independence day is celebrated with great enthusiasm. It is the most prestigious day for every country. This is the biggest national festival for every country and doesn’t really need any explanation. 17th August is the day of pride for Indonesia.
Mappanretasi is one of the ceremonies carried out at the coast of Bugis, Pagaran, Tanah Bambu district and Kalimantan Selatan. Sea party is enjoyed for three weeks in the month of April and culmination is held in the last week of the same month. At the peak of the event, their fishing boats are sent to the sea as gratitude to the God Almighty Karana for abundant deep sea products that are obtained and used by the community, especially the Baruhan Pagatan.
If you ever get a chance to celebrate or get involved in Indonesian culture it can be a life changing experience. How about we create an amazing Indonesia vacation for you?
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