Independence Day in Indonesia – Hoorayyy August 17th is coming up! This is a special day when Indonesian people celebrate Independence across the country every year.
Just a little flashback, Indonesia declared its independence from the Dutch colonization in 1945. At that time, Indonesia’s first president Soekarno read the Indonesian proclamation of Independence in front of hundreds of people, accompanied by Mohammad Hatta.
Nowadays, people celebrate Independence Day by joining a flag ceremony or participating in various competitions. Wanna know what’s interesting on this day? Let’s find out!
Happy Independence Day, Indonesia!
Every year on August 17th, Indonesian people rejoice. It is a national holiday; many people gather with their family and friends to do fun activities. Here are the 5 things that Indonesians like to do on Independence Day:
1. Flag Ceremony
In the morning on August 17th, the flag ceremony is held at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, led by the Indonesian President. Then, followed by a flag ceremony carried by the Paskibraka or a flag-hoisting team.
Besides in the Presidential Palace, flag ceremonies are held in schools and offices. In the regions, flag ceremonies occurred at unique places such as underwater, on the top of the mountain or inside a cave. Isn’t that interesting? 😉
2. Unique Competitions
One of the most popular competitions routinely held on August 17th is panjat pinang. It is a competition in which a group of people work together to reach the top of lubricated areca palm trunks or bamboo and get the prizes.
A fun competition to participate in is eating kerupuk or Indonesian crackers. Participants who join the competition should race to eat the dangling crackers hung upon a plastic rope. Many children love to join this competition and have fun.
If you think those are all the competitions held on Independence Day, you’re wrong. There is more competition which is the rope pull. This game is played by two teams of 5-8 people. Each team holds each end of the rope. The team that crosses the center of court lines, lose.
Furthermore, it is also interesting to know the iconic gunny sack game. Using karung goni (a sack), a person has to jump as fast as possible. Whoever can cross the finish line first using the sacks that cover waist to feet area, he or she wins. All the games played during August 17th require teamwork.
3. Shopping Galore
Are you a shopaholic? On August 17th, be sure to go out and shop! Massive discounts are available in the shopping malls, especially in big cities in Indonesia. You can enjoy discounts in restaurants, clothing stores, and many more.
Not only inside the shopping malls, there are also online promotions. Online OTA such as tiket.com provides various special discounts. Hunt for flight tickets or a cozy hotel room anywhere in Indonesia? Why not!
4. Festivals & Events
Some tourist attractions often hold celebrations on August 17th. For instance, Taman Safari Indonesia will have animal performances, with marching bands to commemorate the Independence Day.
Many shopping malls will have food festivals on this date. Wherever you are in Indonesia, you gotta go out and spend your day outside to feel the ambiance and joy of this special day.
5. Wear Traditional Clothes
What’s more interesting on August 17th is that Indonesian people often wear traditional costumes and join carnivals. Carnivals are costume marches held across the country. It is the time when people can wear unique and funny costumes.
During the parade, participants come from various ages, from children to adults. Custom dresses from various regions add to the diversity. Indonesia is unique because it has many customs and tribes. Usually, the marching bands play the song of the national anthem, crowds gather on the streets.
Celebrate a Day of Happiness with Your Loved Ones
Indonesian Independence Day is a day of liberty and happiness. The Indonesian flag represents courage (red color) and purity (white color). People may celebrate August 17th differently across the country, but one thing remains the same – the joy and pride of their own country!
Besides Indonesia, other countries celebrate their Independence Days differently. In India, for instance, there is a popular tradition of flying kites, while in the United States, people like to have barbecues and launch fireworks.