In addition to national public holidays, there are frequent religious festivals throughout Indonesia’s Muslim, Hindu, Chinese and indigenous communities. Each of Bali’s twenty thousand temples has an anniversary celebration, for instance, and other ethnic groups may host elaborate marriages or funerals, along with more secular holidays. Many of these festivals change annually against the Western calendar.
Erau Festival Tenggarong, Kalimantan. September. A big display of indigenous Dayak skills and dancing.
Funerals Tanah Toraja, Sulawesi. Mostly May to September. With buffalo slaughter, bullfights and sisemba kick-boxing tournaments.
Galungun Bali. Takes place for ten days every 210 days to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
Kasada Bromo, East Java. Offerings are made to the gods and thrown into the crater. Held on the fourteenth day of Kasada, the twelfth month in the Tenggerese calendar year (Dec).
Krakatau FestivalLampung, Sumatra. October. Five days of events highlighting Lampung’s cultural heritage, including Tuping Karnaval (Lampung Mask Carnival); part of the celebration occurs on the island of Anak Krakatau itself.
Nyepi Throughout Bali. End of March or beginning of April. The major purification ritual of the year.
Pasola West Sumba. Held four times in February and March, this festival to balance the upper sphere of the heavens culminates with a frenetic pitched battle between two villages of spear-wielding horsemen.
Sekaten Central Java. March or April. The celebration of the birthday of the prophet Muhammed, includes a month-long festival of fairs, gamelan recitals and performances.