Indonesia Travel Guides
The diverse ethnicities that make up Indonesia’s population ensure the country has an active events calendar.
Many of Indonesia’s festive highlights are religious celebrations, but there are an equal number of lively events that celebrate Indonesian history and heritage.
New Year's Day: this day is celebrated with parties and entertainment. If you are in a major city, you’ll find festivities in hotels, discos and restaurants.
Chinese New Year (Imlek): those of Chinese decent celebrate the coming of the new year with a 15-day celebration. Observers of the holiday typically visit relatives during this time, purchase new clothing and decorate their houses with red-coloured decorations to signify good luck.
Balinese New Year (Hari Raya Nyepi): known as the ‘Day of Silence’ in English, this is a day for quiet meditation and reflection. Lasting 24 hours, observers of Hari Raya Nyepi must abstain from all pleasure-giving activities including talking and eating. Travelling is not permitted on this day, even by visitors, who are restricted to their hotels.
Ibu Kartini Day: this day marks the birthday of Raden Ajeng Kartini, a Javanese leader in the women’s rights movement in Indonesia. On this day, activities created by women’s groups are enjoyed and schools host national dress competitions.
National Education Day (Hari Pendidikan Nasional): is a celebration of the Indonesian educational system. Schools across the country host celebrations.
National Awakening Day (Hari Kebangkitan Nasional): this holiday marks the five basic principles (Pancasila) that make up the Indonesian State Philosophy. Ceremonies are held at government offices and schools.
Jakarta's Anniversary (Ulang Tahun Jakarta): marks the founding of the city of Jakarta in 1527 with the Jakarta fair. There are performances of the culture of the Betawi (Jakarta locals) around the city.
Independence Day (Hari Proklamasi Kemerdekaan RI): held on the 17th August, this day commemorates independence from Japan in 1945. Military parades typically take place in the larger cities, as do firework displays.
Ramadan: this Islamic holiday is observed by all Muslims through prayer, fasting, acts of charity and religious observance. Lasting one month, worshippers must abstain from eating during daylight hours and as a result, many businesses close during Ramadan.
Armed Forces Day: highlights the achievements of the Indonesian Armed Forces and is marked by celebrations, especially in and around military bases.
Youth Pledge Day (Hari Sumpah Pemuda): marks the pledge and unification in 1928 of Indonesian youths against the Dutch.
Hero's Day (Hari Pahlawan): reverent ceremonies are held at national cemeteries around the archipelago to celebrate heroes who fell in Indonesian history. Heroes are remembered through a variety of activities.
Mother's Day (Hari Ibu): this is a special day dedicated to celebrating the role of mothers in the community. Celebrations include activities honouring mothers and women in general.
Christmas (Hari Natal): with much of the population being Christian, Christmas is widely celebrated in Indonesia. Those who observe this day commonly exchange gifts and attend midnight mass.