Indonesia is a country worth exploring with it’s wildlife, serene beaches and explosive cultural celebrations! 

Indonesia is a multifaceted nation made up of thousands of volcanic islands which are home to hundreds of ethnic groups speaking many different languages. It is popularly known for its beaches, volcanoes and jungles sheltering elephants, tigers and Komodo dragons. Besides this, it also has a rich culture and a horde of stunning festivals to reflect that. Be it music, art, yoga, fashion or even food, Indonesia has a festival celebrating them all! 

The Sherp lists 10 festivals that best showcase the diversity and cultural strength of the beautiful island nation of Indonesia!

1. BaliSpirit Festival


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The annual BaliSpirit Festival is a celebration of yoga, dance and music and the merging of East with West through the arts. Held over four nights and five days on the Indonesian island of Bali, the festival combines more than 100 workshops, world music, dance concerts and performances to a targeted, passionate, and enthusiastic audience of over 6,500 people. The majestic outdoor festival grounds are located just outside of Ubud, and truly embody the spirit of Bali.

2. Jakarta Fashion & Food Festival

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Ever since its first inception in 2004, the Jakarta Fashion & Food Festival has been an annual event. During its five years journey, this festival has gained popularity not only domestically, but also in the neighbouring countries. As a major event that brings out the diversity of potential possessed by Indonesia, the JFFF has always been committed to its mission to lift the image and the dignity of the Indonesian people through culture-based industries.

3. Waisak


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On the day of Waisak (Vesak), Buddhists all over the world commemorate events of significance to Buddhists of all traditions: The birth, enlightenment and the passing away of Gautama Buddha. As Buddhism spread from India it was assimilated into many foreign cultures, and consequently Vesākha is celebrated in many different ways all over the world. In India, Vaishakh Purnima day is also known as Buddha Jayanti day and has been traditionally accepted as Buddha’s birth day.

4. Bali Arts Festival


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The Bali Arts Festival is a cultural treat for locals and visitors in Bali. The festival traditionally starts on the second Saturday of June and runs through the month of July. It is the perfect moment to witness Bali’s wealth of performing arts together with various cultural highlights from other islands in Indonesia. As one of the main highlights in Bali’s calendar of events, the annual celebration features various artworks and cultural achievements, inviting locals and international visitors to the Taman Werdhi Budaya Arts Centre in Denpasar where most of the daily exhibitions and art performances are focused.

5. Baliem Valley Festival


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Dani mock battles are held yearly at the Baliem Valley Festival in Wamena during the month of August. The highlights at this feast are the mock battles among the several tribes. The Dani, Yali, and Lani send their best warriors to the arena, wearing their best regalia. The festival is complemented with a Pig Feast, Earth cooking and traditional music and dance.

6. Bidar Boat Race


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The Bidar Boat Race is an annual event organized as a part of the Indonesian Independence Day celebration in Palembang, South Sumatra. The competition comprises a number of boats, made from the trunk of a huge hardwood tree. These boats can be anywhere between 20 to 30 meters long, distinctively decorated with bright colours, and can hold up 75 people including a commander and a gong striker. These boats, racing through the waters of Sungai Musi and marking the celebration of Indonesian Independence Day in the South Sumatra Capital, are a sight to behold.

7. Krakatau Festival

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The Krakatau Festival is held to show off the richness of Lampung’s traditions and culture. The festival has been around since 1990 and has been going strong ever since. This festival is also a way to promote Lampung’s potential as a holiday destination. Since it was first held, the festival changes from year to year, giving a refreshing look to its people. The most anticipated part of the festival is the carnival because it involves all layers of the local society. The carnival is a parade of the traditional attires of two big tribes in Lampung, Sai Batin and Pepadun. They also display traditional masks, tupping and sekura, which is one of the unique art traditions in Lampung.

8. Anime Festival Asia Indonesia

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Born in 2008, Anime Festival Asia is the largest and most followed J-pop culture event in Southeast Asia covering Singapore, Indonesia & Malaysia, with 9 festivals in the past 6 years exceeding 130,000 attendees in 2013. AFA has become a household name to J-Pop Culture lovers in the SE Asian region, and is the leading and most effective content delivery platform, centring around all things Japanese Pop Culture.

9. Ubud Writers & Readers Festival


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Held annually in Ubud, Bali’s artistic and cultural heartland, the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival has become one of Southeast Asia’s largest and most renowned cultural and literary events. The mission of Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is to create a world class festival that celebrates extraordinary stories, amplifies brave voices and tackles global issues and big ideas. The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is the major annual project of the not-for-profit foundation, the Yayasan Mudra Swari Saraswati. It was first conceived of by Janet DeNeefe, co-founder of the Foundation, as a healing project in response to the first Bali bombing.

10. Jazz Goes To Campus


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The very first Jazz Goes to Campus was held in 1976 at a venue called Taman FIPIA. Entertaining roughly 1500 audience the majority of which were students from Universitas Indonesia. Since then, Jazz Goes to Campus has become the oldest jazz event in Indonesia and has proven to be a very significant contribution to the Indonesian jazz industry.