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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 05 Indonesian Art and Cultural Events – A Splash of Colour and Tradition
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 05 Indonesian Art and Cultural Events – A Splash of Colour and Tradition

Indonesia, being an Asian country with a rich cultural heritage makes one of the most eventful countries in the world that is quite an amazing stop for travellers.


Erau Cultural Festival

Erau festival is a biennial cultural event taking place in Tenggarong, during the month of June. This festival has a strong mythological background with a long history dating back to the 13th century. According to legend, a noble couple in the small village of Jaitan Layar in Kutai Karta Negara kingdom had not been blessed with a child for many years after their marriage. As a result of numerous prayers to their God by the couple, one night they had received a gold casket holding a child protected by seven Gods. The child had been introduced as the descendant of God, and the couple had been instructed by the guardians that the child's feet should not touch the ground until after the Erau festival which was to be held in 40 days. The delighted parents had obeyed faithfully to the command of Gods and organized a grand celebration on the 40th day of the child's arrival where the child's feet were set on the heads of humans and buffaloes; alive and dead.


Bali Agung

With hundreds of talented artists and dozens of trained live animals, the Bali Agung show is at the highest point a theatre performance can ever be. The show is about the fascinating story of Bali's people and how they built the land through their farming, cultural relationships, and foreign trades. Throughout the full duration of the show, the spectators are drawn to the stage with the award winning performance of elaborately dressed dancers moving at the speed of lightning. The piercing sound of the orchestra that makes your heart thump, the majestic animals who roam about, and dancing puppets that narrate the story of the kingdom are equally enhancing the attractiveness of the show.


Bali Arts Festival

For a whole month from mid-June to mid-July the Balinese people and the lucky tourists gathered in the city of Denpasar are all showered in a vibrant show of colour, energy, and liveliness during the Bali Arts Festival. This is an annual celebration featuring the most talented dancers, musicians, cultural performers, and theatre performers from all around Bali who are chosen through a tough competition. The Denpasar Art Centre is decorated with traditional bamboo and coconut leaf decorations and colourful banners.


Baliem Valley Festival

Unlike many of the festivals seen in the world today, the Baliem Valley Festival is a tribal event that is celebrated annually, bringing together the descendants from the three main tribal groups in Indonesia's Western New Guinea highlands; the Dani, Lani, and the Yali. This event mainly takes the form of a mock battle, with the purpose of maintaining the tribe's strength and ability to guard their pupils. The warriors paint themselves and get ready to participate in the battles, spear throwing competitions, and pig races. The battle field is enlivened with Papuan traditional music of Pikon, which is a wooden instrument requiring special skills to be played.


Independence Day

Every year on 17th of August, the country becomes a vivid display of red and white thanks to the Indonesian nationals celebrating their country's freedom from the Dutch colonies. The main celebration is held at the National Palace in Jakarta, where the president hoists the national flag to symbolize the country's independence. Tourists are welcome to enjoy the festivities, and many of the Balinese hotels and resorts like Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort provide special facilities for the tourists who are attending the festivals. Bali Uluwatu hotels get busy during the festival season so it is wise to make your bookings ahead.