7 Most Unique Festivals in Indonesia

Indonesia is blessed with beautiful coastlines and stunning natural landscapes. This country is also rich in culture that make Indonesia festivals diverse, and each has a different appeal which is certainly suitable for vacation destinations with historical and cultural themes.

These festivals are held in various regions in the archipelago. If the location is far from where you stay, you can use Indonesia Airlines to get a comfortable travel experience. Then for the various festivals, you can check the list below.

List of Festivals in Indonesia

1. Rambu Solo Ceremony

Also known as the Toraja Funeral Ceremony, this festival is held between July and September in Tanah Toraja in South Sulawesi. The tribal group held an ancient ritual to send spirits to the afterlife.

2. Saka New Year Festival

This festival is held at the beginning of every new year based on the Balinese calendar or in March on a public calendar. There are many unique ceremonies, prayers and rituals during this festival on the Island of the Gods.

3. Baliem Valley Festival

This festival is held in different locations every year, one of which is at an altitude of 1600 meters above sea level in the Jayawijaya mountain in August. More information about this festival is as follow:

  • It is a harvest festival and a symbol of prosperity and fertility.
  • The festival tells the story of the war between dozens of local tribes.
  • Festival participants wear traditional clothing from various tribes and make combat-like movements.
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4. Jember Fashion Carnival

This unique festival in East Java showcases Nusantara fashion trends ranging from traditional to modern costumes related to the roots of the nation’s cultures and traditions.

About 1000 participants from various regions took part in this parade, ranging from kindergarten students to adults. The line of participants will be accompanied by the loud sound of flutes, drums, and other traditional musical instruments.

5. Pasola

Another unique festival is in East Nusa Tenggara, which features attractions in the form of sitting on horses and the riders throwing a ball at each other. This Sumba ritual is said to be able to keep the spirit happy. The celebrations take place in February and March.

This Islamic festival is held every 12 Maulud to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, which usually lasts 7 days and can be viewed by non-Muslims with the following details:

  • The location is in the Palace of Yogyakarta and Surakarta.
  • There are gamelan games, reading the story of the Prophet Muhammad, recitations, Grebeg Maulud, and so on.
  • There is also a night market in the palace square for 40 nights.

6. Sekaten

 This Islamic festival is held every 12 Maulud (based on Islamic calendar) to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, which usually lasts 7 days and can be attended by non-Muslims with the following details: 

  • The location is in the Palace of Yogyakarta and Surakarta. 
  • There are gamelan games, reading the story of the Prophet Muhammad, recitations, Grebeg Maulud, and so on.
  • There is also a night market in the palace square which is available for 40 nights.

7. Mappanretasi

The festival took place in South Kalimantan as a form of gratitude for the abundant marine products. This festival is held on the beach, usually on the coast of Bugis, South Kalimantan. The festival is in April and lasts for 3 consecutive weeks, and at the peak of the festival, the fishermen will leave for the sea.

If you are bored of travelling to tourist attractions, you can come to various unique festivals as above. Festivals like this are fun to attend with friends or family.

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