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9 Most Popular Traditional Ceremonies in Indonesia

traditional ceremonies in Indonesia

Traditional ceremonies in Indonesia are still inherent in several regions, even though times have become more advanced, see the complete information below!

Traditional Ceremonies in Indonesia – Being an archipelagic country certainly provides many benefits for the Indonesian people. The most important thing is of course that the Indonesian people benefit from the abundance of fish and marine biota. However, as the largest archipelagic country in the world, Indonesia's cultural diversity is spread across a number of large and small islands.

Indonesia has a long history of preserving the culture of its people. Some of them have become popular tourist destinations for both local and international communities.

Traditional ceremonies are often used by tourists to explore or learn about dozens or hundreds of cultures throughout Indonesia. From Sabang to Merauke, each community has its own traditional rituals that are different from each other.

So what are the traditional celebrations in Indonesia? Come on, let's look at the complete information!

Traditional Ceremonies in Indonesia

1. Traditional Ngaben Tradition in Bali

This traditional ceremony in Indonesia is a popular ritual in Bali. The Ngaben ceremony or burning of the body in Bali is seen by the Hindu community as a ritual of returning the body to its Creator.

This tradition symbolizes the purification of the souls of people who have died. The goal is to bring the deceased to the next life.

Ngaben ceremonies are classified into three types, Ngaben Sawa Wedana, Ngaben Asti Wedana, and Private.

2. Stone Burning Party

The first traditional ceremonies in Indonesia came from Papua. This traditional ritual is known as the Stone Burning Festival and has been a custom that has existed for a long time among the Papuan people.

The main purpose of the Bakar Stone Festival is to express gratitude and stay in touch with family and friends. Apart from that, the meaning of the stone burning party is also represented in various activities and events held.

Papuan people traditionally hold a stone burning festival to commemorate births, coronations of tribal chiefs, traditional weddings and the gathering of soldiers to fight.

This traditional Indonesian ritual is often performed by inland tribes in Papua, including the Bintang Mountains, Central Mountains, Nabire, Jayawijaya, Baliem Valley, and Paniai.

So why is it called the Stone Burning Party? Because, as the name suggests, these stones are burned until they are red hot and then placed on top of the food that will be served during the celebration.

Typically, the food that is stacked ranges from pork covered in banana leaves to sweet potatoes, cassava, and various vegetables all covered in banana leaves.

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3. Rambu Solo in Toraja

The next ritual is the Rambu Solo Ceremony in Toraja. This ceremony is similar to Ngaben in Bali.

Rambu Solo ceremony in Toraja
Rambu Solo Ceremony in Toraja (Source: Mongabay)

This ritual is designed to welcome the spirit of the deceased person to the spirit world and reunite him with his ancestors. A person who has died but has not completed the Rambu Solo traditional ceremony is still considered not sick and has not been buried.

4. Burning stones in Papua

The ritual of burning stones is a form of gratitude for various benefits such as births, traditional marriages, and the coronation of tribal leaders.

This custom provides space for people to gather and show sympathy for the Papuan people. Furthermore, the party represents mutual forgiveness between residents and tribal peace.

This traditional ceremony in Indonesia is known by the name Barapen, Gapi, or Kit Oba Isogoa (Wamena). In this case, the food at the event is burned on stones. The stone custom is mostly practiced in the Baliem Valley, Nabire, Bintang Mountains, Jayawijaya, Yahukimo, and others.

5. Traditional Influence of the Baharin Dayak Tribe

Aruh Baharin is a traditional ceremony carried out by the Dayak Community in Kalimantan.

This traditional ceremony is carried out as a form of gratitude and appreciation to God Almighty. This could be due to the abundant harvest of the Dayak tribe or the success of their trade.

This ritual is a tribute to the ancestors who are said to always protect them from disaster.

6. Cutting Fingers in Papua

Papuan people have a tradition of cutting fingers. This ritual is carried out when a family member or close relative, such as a partner, wife, father, mother or child, dies.

The people of the central mountains of Papua must uphold traditional ceremonies in Indonesia. They believe that cutting off a finger symbolizes the suffering and pain of someone who has lost a family member.

Fingers symbolize harmony, togetherness and strength in business. Other individuals help and complement each other, resulting in harmony in life and living. If one is missing, the Component of Unity is lost, and the Power is Reduced.

7. Tabuik Tradition

The Tabuik ceremony is a Minangkabau tradition that takes place on the west coast of West Sumatra, precisely near Pariaman Beach. This habit has been carried out for generations. This event is commemorated on the Day of Ashura, which is the 10th of Muharram in the Islamic calendar.

Tabuik traditional ceremony
Tabuik Traditional Ceremony (Source: Indonesia Kaya)

The name Tabuik refers to the heirloom chest left by the Prophet Moses which was used to create the text of the Bani Israel's Agreement with Allah. This traditional ceremony in Indonesia also commemorates the death of Husein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad SAW.

The Tabuik Ceremony is a celebration of anchoring Tabuik to the sea. The highest highlight of the Tabuik event is being paraded to the center of the city, accompanied by shouts of tasa and Hoyak Tabuik, then spun, shaken, and transported slowly to the beach to be thrown into the sea when night falls.

8. Ngebabali tradition

Even though the name refers to one of Indonesia's most prominent islands, this traditional event did not originate there. The Ngebabali ceremony originates from Lampung and is carried out traditionally by the people of West Lampung.

The Ngebabali ritual is usually held when people open new rice fields or livestock. This traditional ceremony in Indonesia is carried out to clean empty land.

The Ngebabali ceremony is also performed when someone wants to build a house, and may be considered an attempt to expel spirits from a haunted location.

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9. Peusijuek

The Peusijuek ceremony which originates from Sumatra is another Indonesian traditional ceremony. The Peusijuek ceremony is a traditional procession in Acehnese culture which, although more modern, is still carried out today.

So, why does this ceremony still exist in increasingly modern times? Because this typical Indonesian ceremonial tradition is followed by almost all Acehnese traditions.

For example, the Peusijuek Ceremony can be used to honor the start of a business, the resolution of a land dispute, the purchase of a new house, or the return from the holy land.

Even though it is still carried out today, the Peusijuek Ceremony has a different meaning. There are two types of society in Aceh. People who live in urban areas, for example, believe that the Peusijuek Ceremony is only suitable for large-scale events such as traditional wedding ceremonies.

On the other hand, rural people appreciate the Peusijuek Ceremony and believe that even though they are doing simple things, this traditional ceremony in Indonesia must be followed.

The Peusijuek ceremony is also very similar to the Tepung Tawar tradition in Malay culture. In Aceh, this custom is usually carried out by various well-known religious figures, both rural and urban, as well as senior members of society.

The existence of traditional ceremonies in Indonesia is of course very important, especially since many Indonesians still consider culture as their identity.

So even though modernity and technology are increasingly advanced, people are still proud of their cultural identity through timeless traditions. So, those are the traditional ceremonies in Indonesia that Travela needs to know, I hope the information is useful, OK?


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