The breadth of Indonesia’s festivals is as wide as its varied cultures, religions, and traditions. Festivals may be specific to Bali or Java, and Muslim or Hindu religions, while many are celebrated by the entire nation. A rather artistic culture, arts festivals, including the Bali Spirit Festival, are great fun for the whole family, while the unique New Year celebration called Nyepi Day, is celebrated in silence.
Bau Nyale, an ancient festival started by the Tunjung Beru Kingdom’s Princess Mandalika, celebrates the yearly appearance of nyale sea worms at Seger Beach in Kuta Village over five days. Glowing bright, the worms depart their coral reefs and head to the surface. Several events following the worms' appearance provide plenty of entertainment.
Historically performed to bid departing soldiers farewell, this is one of the most popular festivals in Lombok. Dancers perform to two massive drums as music and dance lovers from around the world congregate to listen to the cultural tunes and watch over forty members perform traditional dances at the Gendang Beleq Festival.
March 3 - 5 2017
Held annually at the Jakarta International Exhibition Center, the three-day Java Jazz Festival is the largest of its kind. Latin, modern and the local Javanese flavor all join together to jam and celebrate with music enthusiasts. Growing from 11 stages in 2005 to 19 in 2014, 1,500 musicians perform for over a hundred thousand people.
A week-long festival filled with dance, yoga and live music, the Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud sells out nearly every year. Workshops, cocktail hours, scrumptious multi-country cuisine and a mesh of cultures draw people from all over the world to this international gathering in the month of March.
May 11 2017
Celebrating the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha Siddharta Gautama, the Waisak one-day festival serves as a central meeting point for Buddhists worldwide. A momentous Buddhist holiday, the celebration begins with a procession from the Mendut Temple to the Pawon Temple and finishes at the Borobudur Temple in Yogyakarta.
June 11-July 7 2016
A month filled with daily performances, handicraft exhibitions, cultural displays and activities comes to tropical Bali during June and July. Bringing the best of Indonesia’s art scene, Bali’s Arts Festival caters to the local flavor in a movement to encouraging locals and tourists to enjoy the stunning environment together.
June 13 2016
Celebrating Indonesia’s cultural, beautiful local fabric, the Solo Batik one-day Festival in Solo-Central Java is a colorful affair. Declared a masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2009, the unique, rare handicraft is worn and sold throughout the street carnival celebrating the country’s heritage.
July 26-28 2016
Crazy for kites, Bali paints the sky during the month of July for their annual three-day Kite Festival. Biggest is best when it comes to the kite flying competitions in Indonesia. The festival’s 35th year will be marked in 2015, as the event is increasingly becoming a global affair. Visitors flock from all over the world to check out the event.
Celebrating the beautiful sounds of traditional Indonesian percussion, the Gamelan Festival brings the best of the local flavor. Gaining national recognition, the festival entertains thousands each year. The two-day festival incorporates the music of 35 different countries to promote ties with other nations.
Clambering inside a massive volcanic crater may sound a bit crazy, but on the island of Java, this means one thing – it’s the annual one-day Yadnya Kasada Festival. Hundreds of Indonesians climb inside the crater to deliver offerings to the gods. The religious festival takes place at the foot of Mount Bromo for an incredibly beautiful setting.
August 8 -10 2017
Re-enactments of tribal war, traditional dancing, archery contests and children’s competitions create a lively scene at the Baliem Valley Festival in Papua Wamena every July spread across three days. Finishing with a decorated vehicle parade and fun-filled carnival, the festival celebrates both traditional and modern tribal life.
August 26-30 2016
An explosion of color, the three-day Jember Fashion Carnaval in Jember, Indonesia, is a spectacular sight. The city’s main streets are converted into a 2.2-mile catwalk, the longest in the entire world. Visitors are invited to create their own imaginative costumes and vote on the extravagant costumes presented.
Visitors are able to swim around the Samosir, party at the Sigale-Gale Carnival, take a ride on a Solu Bolon Royal Boat, paraglide, dance at a live concert and more at the week-long Lake Toba Festival. Traditional workshops and games help promote Indonesian culture as the festival strives to preserve the area’s cultural creativity.
September 10-15 2015
The Solo International Performance Art (SIPA) Festival in Central Java’s Surakarta is attracting global attention. Reflecting the unity of performing arts and music, the festival features dancers suspended from balloons. This three-day festival is a fantastic way to view Indonesia’s local performing arts and music.
Mountain biking events, a carving workshop along with handicraft, textile and culinary exhibitions create an exciting festival in the breathtaking Sulawesi mountain landscape. Part of the series of events coined “The Lovely December Events,” the three-day festival celebrates elaborate funeral ceremonies.