Every culture and religion in the world has its own way to define and celebrate the coming of the new year. While the Chinese have the Imlek celebration, the Muslims celebrate the first of Muharram, and the world in general celebrates the first of January, the Hindus of Bali welcome the New Year based on the traditional Saka Calendar with the ritual of Nyepi. This year, Nyepi , the day
Every year, for hundreds of years, the Sigofi Ngolo has been faithfully observed by the people of Jailolo Bay, in West Halmahera. A festival alive with vibrant decorations and rhythmic sounds, Sigofi Ngolo is a festival of honor to God, giving thanks for abundant crops, and becoming one with nature: all things on earth and under the sea. The ritual, though translated to mean ‘cleansing of th
Built by the indigenous Sahu tribe on Halmahera Island in North Maluku, Sasadu are spacious, yet simple houses formed from wood andpalm leaves. In the local dialect of West Halmahera, sasadu is translated to mean a gathering house. These ancestral homes can be found in the center of every village and can accommodate up to 500 people. They are used as a place for the village’s residents to ga
If the indigenous people of Bali have the grand ngaben cremation ceremony and the Toraja have elaborate funeral traditions, the Dayak Maanyan sub ethnic group who inhabit the Warukin Village, in Tabalong Regency, South Kalimantan also have extraordinary rituals to send the soul to the afterlife at its passing away.
The Dayak Maanyan inhabit the area that stretches across the border betwee
Visiting Jailolo City in the district of West Halmahera in the province of North Maluku is bound to get your head nodding and your fingers and feet tapping. Indonesians, in general, are a musical people, and the residents of Jailolo have no qualm in showing it. Numerous becak motor crisscross the streets, each blasting the tune of whatever suits his preference or mood for the day.
Set in the heart of the Tabanan Regency in Bali, the Jatiluwih rice fields have been named a UNESCO Cultural Landscape, part of Bali’s Subak System. The vast expanses of terraced, green rice paddies are stepped along an entire mountain, from its peak to where its foot meets the sea. The fields that make up this area have adopted the traditional Subak irrigation system – a method that h
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
Travelling west from Bali’s capital Denpasar, you will find the town of Mengwi, which is home to one of the grandest temples of the island, the Taman Ayun. Built around 1740, Pura Taman Ayun is a water garden temple, symbolizing the cosmic union of sea and mountain. Reflecting the order of the cosmos, the temple consists of three successive parts, they are: nista (the impure and demoni
According to myth, the original ancestor of the Toraja came down from heaven by way of a star-lit stairway to live in this beautiful part of earth. This myth, told from generation to generation continues until today where the people of Toraja believe that the star- lit stairway down from heaven is a media for people on earth to communicate with Puang Matua (The Only One True God).
Bali’s cremation ceremonies must be some of the most magnificent in the world.
For, to the Balinese, it is only through the cremation of the body that the soul can be released from this temporary vessel to reach the afterlife. And, in order to do so, the correct rites and rituals must be followed, especially when it concerns those of royal lineage. For, at death, the body must b