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Indonesian Public Holiday Guide Information

Indonesian Public Holiday

The Government in a joint decree issued by the Minister of Religion, Minister of Manpower and Transmigrations and the Minister, and the State Minister for Administrative Reform declared the Indonesian Public Holidays.

There are four types of holidays season in Indonesia, there are : Religious, National, International and Commemorative. Ones that are designated "Tanggal Merah" (literally red date, or a date that is designated in red on a calendar) signify national holidays when government offices, schools, banks, and most businesses are closed.

Many of the dates of religious holidays may vary from year to year, as they are based on other calendars. For example, the Muslim holidays are based on the Islamic or Hijriah calendar, which is 10 to 11 days shorter than the Roman calendar on every year. Other holidays, such as Easter, Chinese New Year and Waisak are based on lunar calculations, as in other countries where these holidays are celebrated.

Religious Holidays in Indonesia.

The Indonesian government officially recognizes five religions: Islam, Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist and Hindu. As in other countries, each of these religious communities in Indonesia celebrate events that are important to their faith. Some of these are become National Holidays, others are not. The Ministry of Religion decides the dates on which religious holidays will be held each year. The following are faith-based holidays that are national holidays in Indonesia call it "tanggal merah".
The detail Religious Holidays in Indonesia can be found as follow :

Moslem Holidays :

The dates for many Muslim holidays vary from year to year as they are based on the Islamic or Hijriah Calendar, which is 10 to 11 days shorter than the Roman calendar.

  • 1 Muharram.
    1 Muharam or Tahun Baru Hijrah - Muslim New Year - 1st day of Muharam. Marks the beginning of the new year on the Hijrah calendar.
  • Maulid Nabi.
    Maulid Nabi - Birth of the Prophet Mohammad - 12th day of Rabiul Awal. Milad-un Nabi or Maulid (Mawlid) is the birthday celebration of the Prophet Muhammad. The month of Rabi’ al-Awwal (the First Spring Season) of the Islamic Calendar is well known in the entire Muslim world as Shahr al-Mawhid (the Month of Birth) of the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet Muhammad was born in the Arabian city of Mecca on the 12th day of Rabi-ul-Awwal or the third month of the Muslim lunar year.
    In Indonesia, Muslims gather to recite special prayers of thanksgiving to Allah SWT for sending the Prophet Muhammad as His messenger. Speeches and lectures are made in mosques and elsewhere about the life and instructions of the Holy Prophet. After prayers, sweets are distributed and perfume may be sprinkled on adherents. It is also a family occasion; people dress up in their best clothing and children receive money or gifts. In some cities in Indonesia, such as Yogyakarta and Solo (Surakarta), believers celebrate the Maulid by conducting parades or carnivals, reciting special prayers and singing holy songs which they called "Barzanji". The tradition is called the ‘Mauludan Festival’. During the festival there are competitions to win food, which the people believe has been blessed by the Prophet.
  • Isra Miraj.
    Isra Miraj - Ascension of the Prophet Mohammad - 27th day of the 7th month. Commemorates the ascension of the Prophet Mohammad to Heaven. Prayers are held at neighborhood mosques.
  • Ramadhan Fasting.
    Muslim festivals during the lunar month of Ramadhan that precedes Eid Al-Fitr (Idul Fitri), Muslims feast and eat at night and Fast during the day. General business patterns may be interrupted and several restaurants are closed during the day, there can also be restrictions on smoking and drinking. Some disruption may continue into Eid Al-Fitr it self. Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha may last from 2 to 7 days.
  • Hari Raya Idul Fitri or Lebaran ~ Eid Al Fitr.
    Hari Raya Idul Fitri or Lebaran - End of the Ramadan fasting month - 1 Syawal.
    The end of the month of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting. Mass prayers are held in mosques and large open areas around around the country. Celebrated with the traditional dish ketupat and visiting with family and friends. Charity donations (amal) are traditionally given at this time. Just prior to Lebaran a mass exodus (mudik) from Jakarta of over 3 million people occurs as residents return to their villages to celebrate with family and friends. Begging of forgiveness for any transgressions or slights in the past year is expressed during visits, Mohon Maaf Lahir dan Batin. A Lebaran bonus, THR, is traditionally given to all Muslim staff or employees prior to the holidays. In urban areas Halal Bihalal (mutual begging of pardon) gatherings are held. This is the time of year when Muslims traditionally buy a new clothes for Celebrates the Idul Fitri. On this period all flight, trans, ships, train, ferry, public bus usually full booking, because all Muslim people back to their Parent Home in their Village or others cities, so all Muslim people move from other place to others place, in Indonesia call it "Mudik Lebaran" and it happen for the whole place in Indonesia.
  • Idul Adha or Lebaran Haji ~ Ied Al Adha.
    Idul Adha or Lebaran Haji - Muslim Day of Sacrifice - 10th day of Dzulhijjah. Commemorates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son upon God's command. Falls at the end of the annual Haj pilgrimage to Mecca. Mass prayers are held in mosques and large open areas around the country. Animals are sacrificed and the meat is given to the poor people.

Christian Holidays :

Protestant and Catholic.
Christian holidays fall on the same days as in other countries. The following are national holidays :

  • Wafat Isa Almasih.
    Wafat Isa Almasih- Good Friday -Commemorates the death of Jesus.
  • Hari Paskah.
    Hari Paskah - Easter - Celebrates the day Jesus arose from the dead.
  • Kenaikan Isa Almasih.
    Kenaikan Isa Almasih - Ascension of Christ- Commemorates the day Jesus ascended into Heaven.
  • Hari Natal.
    Hari Natal - Christmas - Celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.

Hindu Holidays :

The following are national holidays for Hindu in Indonesia :

  • Hari Raya Galungan.
    Hari Raya Galungan is Celebrates the coming of the Gods and the ancestral spirits to earth to dwell again in the homes of the descendants. The festivities are characterized by offerings, dances and new clothes.
  • Nyepi - Hari Raya Nyepi.
    On Nyepi day itself, every street is quiet - there are nobody doing their normal daily activities “Day of Silence”. There is usually Pecalangs (traditional Balinese security man) who controls and checks for street security. Pecalang wear a black uniform and a Udeng or Destar (a Balinese traditional "hat" that is usually used in ceremony). The Pecalangs main task is not only to control the security of the street but also to stop any activities that disturb Nyepi. No traffic is allowed, not only cars but also people, who have to stay in their own houses. Light is kept to a minimum or not at all, the radio or TV is turned down and, of course, no one works. Even love making, this ultimate activity of all leisure times, is not supposed to take place, nor even attempted. The whole day is simply filled with the barking of a few dogs, the shrill of insect and is a simple long quiet day in the calendar of this otherwise hectic island. On Nyepi the world expected to be clean and everything starts anew, with Man showing his symbolic control over himself and the "force" of the World, hence the mandatory religious control.

Buddhist Holidays :

The following are national holidays for Buddhist in Indonesia :

  • Hari Waisak.
    Hari Waisak (April or May). Commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha. This celebration is enlivened by religious and social activities in Buddhist temples around the country. In Indonesia, the largest Buddhist temples, Candi Mendut and Candi Borobudur, both located in the Magelang Regency of Central Java not far from Yogyakarta, are the focus of interest and attract those observing the holiday and tourists.
    Three major historical events are celebrated on Waisak. The first is the birth of Siddhartha Gautama. The second is the acceptance of the divine revelation under the Bodhi tree. And the third is the journey of Siddhartha Gautama to heaven. These three big events occur exactly on the Full Moon Purnama Sidhi. Thus, Waisak is also very well known as Tri Suci Waisak or Three Holy Events. Buddhists celebrate Waisak by praying to their God Sang Tri Ratna as thanks giving for creating and maintaining the earth and its resources in harmony. It is very common for Buddhists to celebrate Waisak with the presentation of fruit, flowers and candles. For Buddhists, candles symbolize their philosophy of life, the sought-after enlightenment. Provinces with a relatively high percentage of Buddhists are Jakarta, Riau, North Sumatra, and West Borneo. Two of the large Buddhist monasteries are located in North Jakarta (Sunter) and West Java (Pacet), where traditional celebrations can be witnessed.

International Holidays :

  • Tahun Baru - New Year's Day.
    January 1st, Tahun Baru - New Year's Day. New Year's Eve is celebrated with some revelry in urban areas. Hotels, discos and major restaurants offer special meals, entertainment and dancing.
  • Tahun Baru Cina - Imlek - Chinese New Year.
    January - February Imlek - Chinese New Year. The Lunar New Year is celebrated by Indonesians of Chinese ancestry. Visiting of family and friends, special dishes and gifts money, in Indonesia call "Ampau". Dragon dances are held and limited outdoor decorations are seen on businesses and homes. Most Chinese merchants close their shops for at least one day and maybe up to a week. Greeting cards can be sent to Chinese friends and colleagues; many are available in the stores. The date for Imlek is based on the Chinese lunar calendar. Government offices are open for business.

Commemorative Days :

In Commemorative days, the Offices and Businesses usually do not close.

  • Hari Kartini - Kartini Day.
    April 21st Hari Kartini - Kartini Day. The birthday of Raden Ajeng Kartini (R.A. Kartini), a prominent leader in the women's emancipation movement in Indonesia. The event is marked by activities within women's groups. In Indonesian schools children compete in national dress competitions. The letters of Kartini to friends in Holland have been published in Letters of a Javanese Princess.
  • Hari Pendidikan Nasional - National Education Day.
    May 2nd Hari Pendidikan Nasional - National Education Day. Celebrates the birth, growth and progress in the Indonesian education system. Ceremonies are held at schools across the nation.
  • Hari Kebangkitan Nasional - National Awakening Day.
    May 20th Hari Kebangkitan Nasional - National Awakening Day.
  • Hari Pancasila - Pancasila Day.
    June 1st Hari Pancasila - Pancasila Day. Commemorates the Indonesian State Philosophy, the five basic principles called Pancasila. Ceremonies are held at government offices and schools.
  • Hari Kesaktian Pancasila (G30S-PKI).
    September 30th G30S-PKI. Commemorates the attempted overthrow of the Indonesian government by the Communist Party of Indonesia.
  • Hari Kesaktian Pancasila.
    October 1st Hari Kesaktian Pancasila.
  • Hari ABRI (Angkatan Bersenjata Republik Indonesia).
    October 5th Hari ABRI - Armed Forces Day. Commemorates the glories and achievements of the Indonesian Armed Forces, highlighting and reaffirming their unique role in Indonesian society.
  • Hari Sumpah Pemuda - Youth Pledge Day.
    October 28th Hari Sumpah Pemuda - Youth Pledge Day. Commemorates the uniting of the Indonesian youth against the Dutch and the pledge they developed on this day in 1928.
  • Hari Pahlawan - Hero's Day.
    November 10th Hari Pahlawan - Hero's Day. Ceremonies are held at national cemeteries around the archipelago. Those official designated as heroes by the Indonesian government are honored in a variety of forums and activities.
  • Hari Ibu - Mother's Day.
    December 22nd Hari Ibu - Mother's Day. Events highlight the unique role of mothers specifically, and women in general.
  • School Holidays - For Student.
    School holidays in June, Ramadhan Fasting and December, on this season where parents will bring their children for holidays / vacation and its make accommodations, hotels, flight, train, ships, ferry, public transport also sometimes full booking.

Additional information regarding of the Indonesian Public Holiday :
You may have to know about taking leave together, in Indonesia call it “Cuti bersama or libur bersama”. There are extended day holiday for government offices and some Business, nevertheless, recently most companies have chosen to close their offices during “Cuti bersama or libur bersama” days as well. Please note that banks, public office and others office may close too during the “Cuti bersama or libur bersama” day, also all transport usually full booking such as train, ship, and flight. It is always happen during :

  • Idul Fitri.
  • Idul Adha.
  • Tahun Baru (New Year's Eve).
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