Events in Indonesia
With the majority of their population practicing Islam, Ramadan is one of the most important holidays in Indonesia. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, during which practitioners of Islam fast for a month. The festival is practiced at different times every year due to its reliance on the calendar used in Islam.
Following Ramadan, there is a huge three day celebration, where people will eat, drink, be merry and spend time with their friends and family.
This festival celebrates the birth of the prophet, Mohammed. The festival is a week long and is celebrated with floats, performances, and general merriment.
Celebrated on the 17 of August, this festival celebrates Indonesia’s independence from the Dutch. Independence day is their biggest national holiday and is celebrated throughout the country, though the celebration in Jakarta (the capital) is the most magnificent.
Nyepi translates to “Day of Silence” and celebrates the Balinese New Year. As the holiday is based on the Balinese calendar, it changes every year, though it usually occurs in or around March. On this day, everything in Bali will close as it is a day spent fasting and meditating by the locals.
Toraja Funeral Ceremony
The Toraja people live in the highlands of South Sulawesi. This festival is celebrated between July and September, depending on the year. Toraja people from all over Indonesia make the pilgrimage back to their homeland to celebrate the annual, elaborate, and fascinating funeral rituals.
Baliem Valley Festival
This festival is celebrated in August by the Papua people. It celebrates the notion that war is not just a conflict, but also a symbol of fertility and prosperity. During the festival, locals will engage in a mock-war between tribes, donning traditional clothing and weapons. There are also a number of other performances, attractions, games, dances, and lots of yummy local food; a wonderful celebration of indigenous culture.
This festival is celebrated by the Tenggerese as they gather at the iconic Mount Bromo during the month of August. Here, the people offer rice, vegetables, fruits, and animals to the God of the Mountain, asking for blessings and another year free from eruptions.
During February or March, this jousting festival is celebrated in several locations across East Nusa Tenggara. During the festival, people on horseback will throw traditional spears (hola) at each other in the hopes of unseating their opponent. The ritual is practiced as a way to keep morale and spirits up, hoping for a good harvest.
This festival celebrates the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Gautama Buddha and usually falls during the full moon of May/June. This celebration is particularly iconic at the large Buddhist monument, Borobudur as thousands of monks and pilgrims journey to the temple.
An important Hindu festival in Bali, Galungan is celebrated for the coming of gods and ancestral spirits to dwell in the home of their descendants. Practicing Hindus will drive off evil spirits with incantations and firecrackers, all the while expressing gratitude to their Gods by inviting them to earth by making offering, performing traditional dances, and donning special clothes.
Bali Arts Festival
This festival is the largest celebration of arts and culture in Indonesia and lasts a full month between June and July. During this month there are daily performances, art exhibitions, dances, food and other cultural offerings.
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