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    festivals in Indonesia

    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 many local celebrations. This makes the list of festivals in Indonesia really long.

    15 Famous Festivals In Indonesia 2019

    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.

    • Rambu Solo Ceremony
    • Nyepi
    • Jember Fashion Carnival
    • Baliem Valley Festival
    • Sekaten
    • Pasola
    • Waisak
    • Galungan
    • Independence day
    • Mappanretasi
    • Bau Nyale
    • Dieng Cultural Festival
    • Lampung Krakatau Festival
    • Yadnya Kasada
    • Eid-Ul-Fitr

    1. Rambu Solo Ceremony

    Rambu Solo Ceremony

    This festival is also known as Toraja Funeral Ceremony, Rambu solo ceremony is one of the best festivals in Indonesia. 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


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    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.

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    3. Jember Fashion Carnival

    Jember Fashion Carnival

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    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 Javas 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 one of the enchanting music festivals in Indonesia 2019.

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    4. Baliem Valley Festival

    Baliem Valley Festival

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    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.

    Suggested Read: Head To Bali In August For An Fun Filled, Festive, And Leisurely Vacation!

    5. Sekaten

    Baliem Valley Festival

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    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.

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    6. Pasola


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    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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    7. Waisak


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    Since Indonesia is the place and home for Buddhism, this festival is counted as one of the most important festivals in Indonesia 2019 . 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.

    8. Galungan


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    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.

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    9. Independence day

    Independence day

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    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 doesnt really need any explanation. 17th August is the day of pride for Indonesia.

    10. Mappanretasi


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    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.

    11. Bau Nyale

    festival indonesia

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    If you happen to be in Lombok during the months of February and March, then you should go to the beach where you will find hundreds of locals catching fish. Not just any fish, it is a special kind of worm-like fish that wash off to the shores only during these months. The legend has it that Princess Mandalika drowned into the waters of Lombok to escape an arranged marriage. She took rebirth as worm fish called Nyale. Locals also believe that by eating this fish, men will become more energetic and women more beautiful.

    12. Dieng Cultural Festival

    head shaving ceremony indonesia

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    Diend Cultural Festival is mainly celebrated in the Dieng Plateau of Java and there is a reason for that. When the children in this region hit puberty, their naturally straight hair starts to form dreadlocks. Crazy, right? So, every year in August, their heads are shaved off to get rid of the dreadlocks. This ceremony is called Ruwatan Anak Gombel. On this day, traditional lanterns are released in the sky and puppet shows are held for the masses. It is an exciting time to be here as the atmosphere is cheerful and lively.

    13. Lampung Krakatau Festival

    Lampung Krakatau

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    Indonesians celebrate weird festivals even the eruption of Mount Krakatau. In 1883, the eruption of the volcano destroyed over 70% of the island and the ash in the sky even spread 4500 km away to New York and Norway. Then, in 1991, locals began to celebrate life on the island between June to October to remember the day. Many cultural performances and events are held in the Lampung Province. It is one of the most happening festivals in Indonesia 2019.

    14. Yadnya Kasada


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    Yadnya Kasada is a festival celebrated by the Tenggerese community in East Java during May and September. It is believed that a childless couple prayed to Mount Bromo and was blessed with 24 kids on a condition that they should sacrifice 25th kid. When they did not do sacrifice heir child, the volcano erupted and took the child away with it. Therefore, to appease gods, locals make a pilgrimage to all the way to Mount Bromo and make sacrifices of goats, vegetables, flowers, and money into the volcano.

    15. Eid-Ul-Fitr

    eid in indonesia

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    Indonesia has a significant Muslim population, therefore, Eid is one of the most important festivals of Indonesia. It is what Diwali is to us Indians. id-ul-Fitr is celebrated in the month of June when employees receive their bonuses and workers travel back home. People decorate their houses and make delicious food like lemang, dodol, sambal goring, and cookies to celebrate the spirit of Eid.

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    If you ever get a chance to celebrate or get involved in Indonesian cultural events it can be a life-changing experience. How about we create an amazing Indonesia vacation for you?

    Frequently Asked Questions About Festivals In Indonesia


    Q. Which is the famous festival in Indonesia?

    A. Indonesia observes and celebrates several religious, cultural and music festivals. There are about 15 major festivals celebrated in the country. The majority population of Indonesia follows Islam, constituting about 87.2% Indonesian population. Therefore, Eid, especially Eid-Ul-Fitr is one of the most famous festivals in Indonesia. A national festival celebrated across the country is the Independence Day of Indonesia. It is celebrated on the 17th of August every year. Apart from these, Rambu Solo Ceremony, Nyepi, Waisak, Baliem Valley Festival, Bau Nyale, Galungan, and Lampung Krakatau Festival are some of the major festivals in Indonesia.

    Q. Which is the main religion in Indonesia?

    A. The majority religion in Indonesia is Islam. Going by the 2010 Indonesian census, 87.18% of Indonesian population identify themselves as Muslim. With this figures, Indonesia is one of the countries in the world that has maximum Muslim-population. There are different sects in Islam. Among the entire population of followers of Islam in the country, 99% are Sunnis, 1% are Shias, and 0.2% are Ahmadis. Christianity is the second highest population in Indonesia with 7% population being Protestant Christians and 2.91% population being Catholic Christians. Other religions in the country include, 1.69% Hindu, 0.72% Buddhist, 0.05% Confucianist, 0.13% other, and 0.38% unrecorded.

    Q. Which is the most popular Balinese festival?

    A. Galungan Festival is one of the most popular and most significant Balinese festivals. This festival is observed to celebrate the victory of good (dharma) over evil (adharma). This is a 10-day long festival which is celebrated every year in accordance with the 210-day Balinese calendar. It is believed that during this festival,all Balinese Gods and the ancestral spirits visit the Earth and return on the called, Kuningan.

    Q. Do Balinese celebrate Deepavali?

    A. No, Balinese do not celebrate the Hindu festivals of Deepavali or Holi. Nyepi is an important Hindu festival in Bali, Indonesia.

    Q. Do they celebrate Halloween in Bali?

    A. Though Halloween is not a part of the Balinese culture but the celebration of the same have started to take place at some venues in Bali. This is the result of the influence of Western culture.

    Q. Do they celebrate Christmas in Indonesia?

    A. Yes, Christmas is celebrated in Indonesia since 10% of the population is Christian. This makes 20 million Christians on the island. You will find a number of churches on every island in Indonesia where you can visit for prayers and celebrations.

    Q. What is famous Indonesian food?

    A. Sate and Beef Rendang are to of the most famous Indonesian food items that you must try on your holiday in Indonesia. Fried rice, oxtail soup, and Pempek are other famous delicacies.

    Q. How many cultures are there in Indonesia?

    A. There are 300 ethnic groups in Indonesia each with their own sets of custom and traditions. Javanese make 40% of the ethnicity.

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    Category: Festival, Indonesia

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