Top 10 Festivals in Indonesia You Would Be Amazed to Know About

Post by Anupam Pandey | Jun 14, 2019

Indonesia has a long history full of cultural richness and extravagant celebration of human civilization. Being a popular tourist destination, you would also have found yourself looking forward to travelling to Indonesia. In case you are interested in cultures and societies, then I must insist that you should visit Indonesia during the festive occasion to get the immensely colourful sense of cultural retreat on your trip. The festive celebrations would serve a plethora of unprecedented and highly engaging experiences of the place and a more vibrant and friendly interaction with the local societies.

Festivals are part of human societies no matter where human life. The festive celebrations, the traditional way of celebrating and the belief behind it can be invariably diverse, but the idea of the celebration of the festival remains constant. For your better, Indonesia is one of those places where the festivals just don’t seem to end as they keep arriving one after the other. On top of it, people here love to organize public events for every reason they find, as If the festivals were not enough. But this adds up to serve any cultural explorer a worthwhile and highly exciting journey to enjoy. If you wish to explore Indonesia Festivals 2019, here are the best travel deals that can be availed using Promo Klook and you can do these pocket-friendly bookings online well in advance.

Bali Arts Festival

Visit the capital Bali between June and July for the lengthy Bali Art’s Festival. The opening day parade is a sight to behold, held at the traditional venue of Denpasar’s Puputan Renon Square. The artists of all 8 regencies of traditional dance and drama come to take part in this huge arts-based event. The best talent of the land comes at the fore and gets acknowledged for the artistic calibre and gets fame out of this enigmatic environment of arts. Many envoys come from other islands of the country too to take part in this celebration of traditional creative arts or just to witness the beauty of it. The event continues for a month-long time wherein, people get the chance to enjoy a wide array of exhibitions and live performances from some of the best artists in the region. These all events are held at the Taman Werdhi Budaya Arts Centre in Denpasar.  The artists of various other countries and other continents also come to take part in this renowned event and be a part of something really special which this art festival truly represents. The month-long festival offers you one of the best festivals in Indonesia, its arts and its cultural elements that you can get to see in the entire year! 

Indonesian Independence Day, Date: 17 August

This marks Indonesia's 72nd year of the proclamation of Indonesian independence. The day is celebrated on August 17, when red-and-white flags adorn the street sides and flag-raising ceremonies to take place at government offices and a major ceremony takes place in Jakarta, attended by the state head and officials. Households and communities throughout the archipelago also post flags and decorations in front of houses. Some communities also hold sack-run races and other revelries in the spirit of nationality. You can also check for some the best food and beverage highlights for the Independence Day menu as there are many special dishes and amazing sweet recipes prepared for this day and most of these dishes are usually featured amongst the national culinary delights.

The Bali Kites Festival

The Bali Kites Festival is a kiting event that takes place annually, between July and August. It kicks off notably at the start of the windy season in Bali. The main festival takes place along the eastern coast of Padanggalak, just north of Sanur. This is usually held near the end of June and confirmed following favourable weather. Hundreds of competing kite troupes gather from all over the island to pilot their traditional kites often along with the international teams that have modern kites in well crafted and designed shapes and sizes. The kite festival in Bali started off as a seasonal agrarian festival. It was held to thank the heavens for abundant crops and harvests. The festivals then became a competitive ground for communal ‘Banjar’ youth groups, who send their ‘Sekaa Layangan’ kite teams to participate and win prize money. Competition is also usually held for ‘new creation’ kites. These may include detailed three-dimensional figures and unusual designs, ranging from Hindu gods, cars and motorbikes, to promotional mascots and brand sponsors. A gamelan orchestra accompanies each troupe. This adds to the joyous spirit of the Bali Kites Festival and the dramatic take-offs. Tourists can find great Promo Hotels.com for discounts on their accommodation and enjoy the best travel deals for their tours during these times of the year with ease. It is surely one such upcoming festivals of Indonesia that most tourists would vouch to see. 

Galungan

During Galungan, visitors will witness some of Bali’s best street scenes: seemingly endless rows of elaborately decorated bamboo poles. Commemorating the triumph of ‘dharma’ or good against ‘Adharma’ or evil, this observance comes twice a year, as the Balinese use a 210-day calendar system known as the Pawukon. The Penampahan Galungan, or Galungan Eve, is when bamboo poles decorated with young coconut leaf decorations line the streets island-wide. This unique welcoming sight lasts until Kuningan, another associated observance that comes 10 days after Galungan. Women buy new traditional clothes for the occasion and one could often find a great variety of such attires on the Zalora Women Fashion collection and avail the Diskon Zalora for some exclusive deals, especially during Galungan.

Purnama Kedasa - 10th Full Moon

This special full moon is considered highly significant amongst Balinese Hindus. Known as 'Purnama Kedasa' in the local tongue, the day coincides with many major temples celebrating in festive rituals, attended by thousands of devotees. The famous mother temple, Besakih, holds a special ceremony known as 'Betara Turun Kabeh' on this special day, inviting the gods and deified ancestors for their blessings. A 'Melasti' or purification pilgrimage usually takes place on the preceding Sunday, with processions carrying heirlooms and temple objects to holy water sources. 

Vesak, Buddhist Year 2563

Vesak or Waisak is a holiday observed traditionally by Buddhists. It marks the birth of Prince Siddharta Gautama. The date varies each year on the Gregorian calendar but usually coincides in April or May and in June on leap years. Unique to Buddhists in Bali is that some rituals share a slight resemblance to Balinese Hindu features. You can witness this in the use of temple ornaments.

Pemuteran Bay Festival

What started out as a festival to promote diving and ecotourism along the tranquil shores of North Bali, the Pemuteran Bay Festival has evolved into a highlighted event in this area. It showcases arts and culture of North Bali, with exotic dances and music, and extensively features the award-winning fishing village's underwater bio-rock reef and conservation efforts. It is one of those traditional Music Festivals in Indonesia that has been followed by the fishermen community for several generations now and the vividness and grandeur of its celebration do attract people with an unprecedented but pleasant surprise as the locals enjoy the dances and music with a charmingly infused energy.

Nusa Dua Fiesta

Nusa Dua Fiesta is a week of art exhibitions, cultural performances and sporting events that are held in the luxury beach resort area on Bali’s southeast coast. Held annually since 1996, the festival welcomes the general public to this otherwise exclusive tourism enclave, with a variety of sideshows and events held in various venues throughout the area, but with opening and closing ceremonies at Nusa Dua’s landmark peninsula venue. Exhibits range from arts and handicrafts exhibitions, antique automobile shows, live music performances and food stalls featuring the best from among the five-star resorts in Nusa Dua.

Nusa Dua Light Festival

The Nusa Dua Light Festival is slated to light up the evening scenery of the Peninsula Island in Nusa Dua. In the past, the festival ran through January the following year, and open to visitors from 15:00 – 21:00. If you're willing to take your rare and unique selfies or group snapshots with friends against the various lanterns and displays, be sure to bring a tripod or smartphone with low-light shooting capabilities. The festival features life-size lanterns, ranging from small dinosaurs to a hot-air balloon that you can ride in for an overview of the festival grounds. There are also live bands on stage, as well as food and beverage stands.

Tumpek Kandang

Tumpek Kandang is a special Balinese day that’s dedicated to animals, livestock and pets. Offerings are made for successful farming and animal welfare. They're also aimed at the harmony of the environment and which contribute to human sustenance and happiness. The day is part of a series of other Tumpek days aimed at the blessings of different subjects. Tumpek Uduh is for plants. Tumpek Landep is for metal objects and tools. Tumpek Kuningan for ancestral spirits. Tumpek Wayang is for wayang shadow puppets and art performances. Tumpek Krulut is for traditional gamelan music instruments. Like Balinese temple anniversaries, Tumpek days occur in a 210-day cycle on the Pawukon calendar.

Nyepi Day

Nyepi Day in Indonesia is a New Year celebration unlike anywhere else on the planet. Bali celebrates the Saka New Year as the Bali Day of Silence. It's ultimately the quietest day of the year when all of the island's inhabitants abide by a set of local rules. These bring all routine activities to a complete halt. Roads all over Bali are void of any traffic and nobody steps outside of their home premises. Most Balinese and visitors regard Nyepi as a much-anticipated occasion. Some expats and those coming from neighbouring islands prefer escaping Bali for the day rather, due to restrictions that surround the observance. Some others check coinciding dates ahead before their Bali trip, avoiding it altogether. Anyhow, Nyepi is worth experiencing at least once in a lifetime. Especially, since the preceding and following days offer rare highlights to behold!

Chinese New Year

What to Expect During Chinese New Year in Indonesia? Chinese New Year is commonly called Imlek in Indonesia and one of the most notable holidays and festivals of Indonesia celebrated by the households across the islands. It is specifically lead by the Chinese Balinese community everywhere with a local set of rituals involving 'Sanchia' and prayers for their forefathers and ancestors and seek blessing from their family altars. Most of the offerings are decorated with very bright and colourful flower, fresh fruits and home-made cakes and it is offered along with the candle lights and smoking incense sticks. Some of the Chinese influences are also evident such as the Money trees, red lanterns and variable other decorations derived from China. After prayers, feasts ensue and children and unmarried family members are handed out typical red Angpao money packets by elder family members. As a visitor, you can experience the festive Chinese New Year vibe in almost every public space. Your best bet is your hotel lobby, featuring their own version of money trees and bright red adornments. during the Chinese New Year. People can find some of the best fashion deals with offers like Voucher Zalora and Diskon Bukalapak during the Chinese new year season which is sometimes even extended to the Lunar New Year. Unlike during Ramadan, when many Muslims travel out of the island to gather with their families living in the villages outside the cities, the crowd and the traffic during Chinese New Year in Indonesia are pretty much similar to other days of the year.

Omed-Omedan

This is one of the weirdest festivals that is also called the festival of splashes and smooches by the local population. Although, you have to visit the village Sesetan near Bali to experience the celebration of this traditional festivity because it is restricted to the village alone. The festival is held just on the day next to Nyepi by the youth of the Village and the surrounding sub-village region take part in. It involves playing with water wherein water is splashed and sprayed over each other. There is a game like a situation similar to that in tug-of-war where two groups forcing a pair to smooch at each interval.