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Vesak Festival: A Truly Sacred Experience

Every year the magnificent Buddhist temple of Borobudur hosts the holy Vesak festival, attracting thousands of Buddhist pilgrims and other travelers who come to see this ancient and sacred Buddhist ritual take place.

Also known as Visakah Puja or Buddha Purnima in India, Visakha Bucha in Thailand and Waisak in Indonesia, the ceremony is globally known as Vesak,  whch is derived from the Pali

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An Adventure Amongst The Bulls in Madura

Famous for colourful bull races, a drink that is said to put fire in men’s belly’s and a distinctive traditional culture, the island of Madura off the coast of East Java is a fascinating place to visit. It is believed that the name of the island comes from madu (honey) and dara (girl).

Located just across Surabaya , Madura is accessible by the new Suramadu bridge, or is half an hour&rs

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The Resplendent Cremation Ceremonies of the Courts of Ubud and Peliatan

In Bali, the royal courts of Ubud and Peliatan, located near Ubud, are known for their elaborate and most  impressive cremation ceremonies. One of the most impressive was the 1992 cremation of the wife, the mother and stepmothers of Anak Agung Gede Agung, an Indonesian diplomat and of the royal house of Gianyar. 

On 2 November 2010, a Royal Cremation Ceremony for the IXth Raja of Peliat

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THE LARANTUKA “SEMANA SANTA” UNIQUE HOLY WEEK CELEBRATIONS

Each year, the week before Easter Sunday,  the town of Larantuka, East Flores, solemnly celebrates the Holy Week, popularly known here as “Semana Santa”.  The pinnacle of these celebrations is the commemoration of Christ’s  suffering on Good Friday by following the stations of the Cross, known here as the “Sesta Vera”.  In Larantuka, prayers center

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Pacu Jawi: West Sumatra’s Thrilling Bull Races across Muddy Ricefields

No wheels, no engines, no pads, - only pure bull power speeding through muddy ricefields that gives spectators that unbelievable adrinaline rush: this is what Pacu Jawi is all about.  

Held every year to celebrate the end of the rice harvest, Pacu Jawi is a traditional Bull Race held in the Minangkabau highlands of West Sumatra. This extraordinary spectacle can be enjoyed only at the Limapu

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The Dreadlock kids of Dieng and their Shaving Rites

Located about 2,000 meters (6,500 ft) above sea level, the Dieng Plateau in Central Java is not only blessed with breathtaking natural scenery and fascinating historical remains but it is also a land shrouded by myths and age old unique cultural traditions. While the enchanting temple complex is already an amazing legacy of the golden past, one of Dieng’s most exceptional cultural features c

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Betawi Pencak Silat Martial Art: The agile and powerful Cingkrik Goning

The history and development of the city of Jakarta is connected in many ways to the traditional culture of Pencak Silat Betawi, the Indonesian martial art that has for many centuries influenced and enhanced the lives of the indigenous Betawi. Amongst hundreds of martial arts in Indonesia covered under the name “Pencak Silat”, Silat Betawi is one of the oldest forms, and Betawi (Jakarta

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Didong: the Unique Art of the Gayo Ethnic Group in Aceh

Along with the Saman and Seudati Dances, the province of Aceh, situated at the most northern tip of the island of Sumatra, still holds many cultural surprises. Among these, one fascinating feature is the traditional performing art of Didong of the Gayo ethnic group who reside in the Central Aceh Regency.

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The Riau Sahur Bridal Parade: A Unique Ramadhan Tradition

Throughout the fasting month of Ramadhan, Muslims from multiple regions across the archipelago awake before dawn to pray, eat, and begin the fasting for the day. This is also observed in the province of Riau, but in a somewhat different and entirely more interesting form.

Here in Riau, a unique tradition takes place during the nights of Ramadhan Month. In this curious tradition, young people are

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Barefoot Boulder Jumping: Attaining Warrior status on Nias

 The stones stand roughly 2 meters high and 60 – 90 centimeters wide. With a running start from not too far back, a young Nias man sprints across the short distance and leaps effortlessly through the air. The towering, castle-like boulder is not even grazed as the young man lands gracefully on the other side.

 

From the age of 7, the boys on the island of Nias practice the an

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