Once you have arrived there will be plenty to keep you busy, but depending on the time of year, here are a few events taking place….
Dry Season (May – September)
Kawin Tebu Ceromy
The annual Kawin Tebu Ceremony is a particularly popular festival amongst the region’s many sugar cane planters and workers but usually involves the whole community. It takes place in the days leading up to the new planting season with many prayer sessions taking place in the hope of a good harvest for the coming year’s crop. Traditional food and drink, dancing, songs and story telling make for a lively festival.
The Ramyana Ballet is a dramatic performance that tells the story of Ramayana, the classic Hindu tale of honour, magic and courage. Performed on various dates over a six-month period, the Ramyana Ballet involves hundreds of dancers and is performed in a wonderful outdoor setting within the country’s famous Prambanan temple complex
Honoured by Buddhist communities all over the world, Wesak celebrates Buddha’s birthday, enlightenment and death. The day is recognised on the eighth day of the fourth month in the Chinese lunar calendar and celebrations take place at Buddhist temples throughout Java and one of the biggest celebrations takes place at Borobodur in Yogyakarta.
Bogor Botanical Gardens Anniversary
Regarded as one of the finest public gardens in Indonesia, the Bogor Botanic Gardens is a magnificent site covering an area of 87 hectares (about 217.5 acres) and filled with wonderful plants, flowers and trees. It was founded in 1817 by Casper Georg Carl Reinwardt, a German who studied in Holland and moved to Indonesia where he became the Director of agricultural business, arts and sciences for Java and the neighbouring islands. To this day, the park continues to garner international acclaim as one of the finest gardens in the region. Each year it celebrates its founding with a programme of special exhibitions, seminars, workshops and presentations.
Dugderan (A week before Ramadan)
Dugderan is a week-long festival that takes place in the run-up to the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Seen as the last chance for exuberance and indulgence before the solemnity of the following month, Dugderan has a great celebratory feel and is a time for all the family. Visitors can wonder through the bazaar with its lively mix of food and souvenir stalls. Festivities come to a close with a fireworks display and the beating of a large drum which marks the start of Ramadan.
As part of Indonesia’s Independence Day celebrations, each year the Bidar Race is held on the Musi River in Palembang. Teams of approximately 40 rowers man each boat which are usually shaped like animals. An arts and crafts fair and other celebrations take place along the banks of the river.
Parade Kuda Kosong
In this moving and solemn ceremony, a procession of devotees follows behind a horse amidst the heavy aroma of incense. Shaded by an umbrella, the horse has no rider as it is believed that it is ridden by Eyang Suryakencana, a revered ancestor of the Cianjur people who inhabit this area.
Traditional Boat races
Known throughout the region for its many rivers, the Indonesian province of South Kalimantan each year hosts the Traditional Boat Races at the provincial capital of Banjarmasin. Held on the Martapura river which runs through the city, the event is part of Indonesia’s Independence Day celebrations and always attracts large and enthusiastic crowds.
Wet Season (October – April)
Yogyakarta Anniversary Celebrations
Located in the south of central Java, Yogyakarta is renowned for it classical Javanese art, architecture and culture. Each year, the Anniversary Celebrations embrace these qualities through a series of competitions, exhibitions, food events and cultural performances. A friendly atmosphere pervades the event and visitors are invited to join in the celebrations and learn more about the region’s proud and passionate culture.