Indonesian independence day celebrations is usually conducted in around August, with the peak of the event would happen in August 17 as the day of Indonesian independence. Some of Indonesians would officially celebrate it by joining a flag ceremony, while some other would be interested to conduct some events too.
However, there would be always something unique in the independence celebration. Year by year, there are always new competitions, new artwork exhibition, or new performances to enliven the birthday of this country. You can find how do Indonesia celebrate independence day below.
- Flag Ceremony
Every year on August 17th, in all places throughout Indonesia will undoubtedly conduct the Flag Ceremony activities. The 17 August ceremony can also cultivate and enhance the nature of nationalism for each individual. By following the flag ceremony, you will be trained to order and discipline. In the flag ceremony, each participant must follow the order of the ceremony in an orderly manner. Besides, the participants witness the raising of the Flag of Indonesia and commemorate the former heroes.
The ceremony also has a very strong history and should not be forgotten by every Indonesian citizen, in this ceremony, a very historic manuscript for the Indonesian nation was read on behalf of the Indonesian people by a very great leader at that time, Ir. Soekarno. It was the early step of Indonesian independence.
In Indonesia, there is a flag raises team that consists of 16 or 17 year-old teens. They are chosen to be the member of PASKIBRAKA through the tight selection. Paskibraka is the short of Pengibaran Bendera Pusaka with the main task of raising the duplicate of heritage flag in the ceremony of the proclamation of Indonesian independence in three places such as Regency / Municipal level (Regent / Mayor’s Office), Provincial (Governor Office) and National (Merdeka Palace) . The members must come from high school student grade 1 or 2.
- Carnival and festival
Carnival and festival is a mandatory for celebrating independence. The carnival for the independence celebration is always held outside of Jakarta. That’s because President wants all Indonesians to celebrate independence together. In 2015, the same celebration was held in Pontianak with the theme ‘Carnival of the Equator’.
Then, in 2016 the carnival held in Parapat and Balige, North Sumatra with the title ‘Enchantment of Lake Toba’. In 2017 held in the Capital of West Java. So, the ownership of the celebration is felt by Indonesian society outside Jakarta. Moreover, the carnival and festival also conducted in most of cities and region around Indonesia.
- Unique Match and competition
On the day of independence celebration, there would be some unique matches and competition. Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia, August 17 is a happy moment for all levels of society. To highlight it, there are many matches and competitions that are usually held. It is aimed to create excitement for everyone.
From the city center to the remote villages usually will conduct many matches and competitions. The unique matches that commonly conducted is balap karung, makan kerupuk, gigit koin, and many others.
- Wearing unique costume
The tradition of celebrating the independence is also done by wearing the unique costumes. The costumes usually worn for being the most creative and the best performers many wear costumes to follow the race or parade.
The costumes could be various such as the kebaya, traditional costumes, costume for veteran, professional costumes for kids, and so on. This costume parade usually held in most of the regions in Indonesia. It is aimed to illustrate the diversity in Indonesia.
- Marching band
The forerunner to the marching band is from the band drum group created with the purpose of collecting the mass. But over time the drum band function shifted towards entertaining because of its prominent musical aspect, from where the marching band emerged. The military bands whose contents are all with the aim of organizing troop moves in order to be neatly in line, it became the beginning of the formation of marching band.
Marching bands developed after the World War 2, where war veterans made musical corps playing nostalgic mars songs while parading around the city in celebration ceremonies such as independence of Indonesia.
- Panjat Pinang
The Panjat Pinang has always been the culmination of all the competitions of the August 17th event. Panjat pinang game has been popular since the Dutch colonialism.The procedure in the game of Panjat Pinang actually has not changed since the first. The prizes hanging on the top of the pinang stem are also growing.
Nowadays, there are some Panjat Pinang games that hang prizes in the form of television, fan, and some other electronic goods at the top of the pinang stem.
A high pinang trunk is plugged into the ground with very deep depth to ensure that the pinang tree will not fall / shake when it is climbed by the participants. The soil around the pinang sticks that are plugged in must be soft so that when the participant falls it will not cause a fatal accident.
As Indonesian citizens who are rich in culture and tradition, every night August 17 we used to do a ritual procession called Malam Tirakatan 17 August. It is held in most of places in Indonesia starting from remote areas to big cities. The event is presented could be so various, there is a form of entertainment, race, dzikir and prayer, kenduri, and others. In closing this event, there is usually served a variety of dishes.
9. Cultural Art Performance
August 2017 is ‘Independence Month’. Most of regions in Indonesia usually held a series of events throughout the month. Some of them would conduct some art exhibitions, painting exhibitions, and even the craft exhibition.
Some other would prefer held the art performance like Puppet Teather performance, traditional dances, and other cultural art performance. It would only happen in special event in the month of independence.
- Praying together for the heroes
On the day of independence celebration, there would be a praying session called mujahadah for the former heroes that has fought for the independence. The praying could be done in the ceremony or in special event. Then, the praying would be continued by eating together among the people who join the mujahadah.
- Telok Abang tradition in Palembang
On the anniversary of HUT RI on every August 17, you can also see the unique traditions in Palembang. It is Telok Abang Festival and Bidar Boat, and Ornamental Motor Boats. In Palembang, Telok Abang means Red Egg. Telok Abang then placed on a boat and paraded around the area of Fort Kuto Besak in the city of Palembang. People will scramble to grab eggs after they are paraded. Afterwards, Bidar Island rowing competitions and motorboat races are decorated in the Musi River.
- Barikan Tradition in Malang
At each August 17 celebration, Malang has a unique tradition named Barikan. This tradition is usually carried out after the afternoon or after the dawn on August 16. It is held in one of the resident hall where previously conducted kirab budaya with Javanese costume. Each citizen will bring food. Next, they will collect it to be distributed again to other citizens equally. The event begins by singing national songs and ends with a recitation of prayer and gratitude for the nation’s independence.
- Peresan tradition in Sasak tribe
Peresean is actually a traditional game of Lombok Sasak tribe who want to become soldiers in the kingdom of Sasak in ancient times. However, now Peresean performed to enliven the celebration of the birthday for RI. In this game, 2 males (pepadu) are brought together to fight by using a rattan and shield, where the game ends if one of the pepadu takes out the blood or has scored higher. After the match the pepadu must hug each other to indicate there is no grudge between them.
Those are how do Indonesian celebrate independence. Some of them are unique, right? That is why it would be more stunning if you could visit our beloved country in around August since you would get the bonus to see these independence celebrations.