Besides collecting information on Indonesia events we will also recommend unique hotels for you to stay and enjoy your trip. Bali is, of course, our main focus; other islands and regions in this vast archipelago too are worth mentioning and exploring. Some of these events are very unique and we hope by making them more public that they will not be forgotten but rather improved to showcase exceptional traditions and cultural elements.
Jan 1, New Year; celebrated all over Indonesia
Imlek or Chinese New Year; celebrations last for several days, visiting family is important and watching lion and dragon dances
Nyepi; Day of silence in Bali
Easter; is of course celebrated by Christians; there are special processions in specific places in Central Java, Flores, and Maluku.
Isra Miraj the Ascension or night travel by the Prophet Muhammad; celebrated in mosques with prayers and special religious performances.
April 21, Hari Kartini (not a public holiday) Women’s empowerment day, remembering the princess Raden Kartini ‘s (Central Java) struggle for schooling and education for girls.
May 1, International Labor Day
Ascension of Jesus Christ
Hari Waisak (Buddhist Anniversary); is celebrated now in and around Borobudur Temple (Jogyakarta) and also in Bali.
Hari Pancasila celebrating the state ideology of Unity in Diversity
Idul Fitri, end of Fasting Month with many days of celebrations. People travel to their hometowns to be with family and friends, visiting each other to ask for forgiveness and enjoy big feasts.
August 17, Independence Day; flag raising ceremonies throughout the country, the biggest one is televised from the presidential palace in Jakarta. Later there are neighborhood parties with sports and games.
In villages and towns, slippery poles are erected with prices like a bicycle, shoes, mobile phones etc fixed at the very top. Groups of men try to help each other to climb these posts and claim a price for themselves.
Idul Adha; the biggest holiday in the Islamic calendar celebrating the pilgrimage with sacrifices, the slaughtering of cattle, then distributing the meat to the poor.
Muharram, Islamic New Year; prayers in mosques, some processions
Maulid; Prophet Muhammad’s birthday; celebrated in mosques with prayers and recitation of the Al’Quran. Processions are held mainly in Central Java.
Christmas celebrations; there will be decorations in malls and shops and hotels will put up special menus and packages.
Many Indonesia events are also celebrated in Bali; then again the island of the gods has very unique festivals of their own.
March Bali Day or Nyepi
This is a unique day celebrated by Hindus only in Bali and Indonesia. Nyepi means silence. Hindus will restrain from all activities for a full day; even the airport is closed for 24 hours.
And a procession of monsters the day before.
July - October Kite Festival Local and International, Padanggalak Beach, Sanur and others
Flying Kites used to be an agrarian festival to thank the gods for abundant crops. The kites have become bigger and bigger, designed in many different forms and structures. Local youth groups in Banjars construct these colorful 'beasts' and compete on a local level. Many international competitors now also come to Bali to compare their strengths and flying power.
If you are interested to see these beautiful kites, contact us and we will find a driver to take you.
Twice a year Galungan and Kuningan
Rows and rows of intricately crafted Penjor or bamboo poles decorated with young coconut leaves line the streets. They reach high up into the sky yet humbly lower good over evil.
There are special temple ceremonies and this is the time to see the long processions of beautifully dressed women carrying tall food offerings on their heads to the temple. I took this picture many years ago; shoot your own and show us what has changed. Upload your comments and pictures here
Besides Indonesia events, the Balinese celebrate their festivals according to their calendar. Please see the second page for more details. Since many staff in hotels are from outside, the running of these facilities is still possible; and also because many Balinese make many sacrifices in order to please guests.
Please make sure that if you stay in Bali during Nyepi you understand that you cannot leave your hotel; please choose accommodation that has lots of facilities so that you still enjoy your stay.
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