What one needs to understand about Indonesia is that it’s a country built on unifying many little kingdoms under one nationality. Each kingdom in its own right has its own culture and tradition, hence each part of the country has its own celebration and festivals. Traveling through Indonesia, one might possibly bump into a mini or major festival. Mini festivals hardly meet the national calendar, but some major festivals are recognized throughout the country, if not the world. Because many of the festivals are based on traditional calendars, dates are usually determined during the end of the previous year. If lucky, the dates can make the calendar print. Also acknowledging 6 religions, Indonesia celebrates each religious festivity as a National Holiday.
Do note, accommodation and transportation prices may increase during national holidays especially Eid Al-fitri.
The National Holidays of Indonesia for 2019:
5 February Chinese New Year
5 May - 4 June Ramadan
5-6 June Eid Al-fitri (end of Ramadan)
19 May Waisak (birth of Buddha)
25 December Christmas
Major festivals in different areas:
- Pasola, war festival in Sumba (Easter Nusa Tenggara) (around February/March)
- Baliem Valley, war festival in Papua (August)
- Galungan (ancestral spirits visit the Earth), mostly in Bali and the surrounding islands (26 December 2018- 5 January 2019)
- Waisak, in Borobudur (Java)
- Cap Gomeh, 15 days after the Chinese New year in Singkawang, West Kalimantan
- Tana Toraja Funeral in South Sulawesi, held by families and mostly focused around July-August or coming close to Christmas.
- Manene in Tana Toraja in South Sulawesi, the bathing of dead reminants of relative before final burial (August)
- Jember Carnival Festival, in Jember East Indonesia, one of the worlds largest and longest costume festival (August)
- Jailolo Festival in North Maluku, celebrating the culture (May)