Erau International Folk and Art Festival 2016 in East Kalimantan


Showcasing the fascinating culture of East Kalimantan and from various  other parts of the Indonesian Archipelago, as well as from other countries, the Erau International Folk and Art Festival (EIFAF) 2016 will be held from 20th to 28th August 2016 at Tenggarong, Kutai Kartanegara Regency, East Kalimantan Province.

Aside from the fascinating art and cultural traditions of the Kutai Kartanegara Ing  Martadipura Sultanate, the festival will also highlight  performances from Sleman, Gunung Kidul in Central Java,  and Bandung Regency of West Java. Additionally , also present will be art and cultural performances from  the USA, Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria, Canada, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Taiwan.

“Each country is sending one art group, except for Taiwan who this year sends not only one but two art groups to perform in the festival” said Rita Widyasari,  Regent of Kutai Kertanegara as quoted from republika.co.id. Countries participating in the event are members of the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Art (CIOFF) which co-hosts  EIFAF 2016 and backed by the Regency of Kutai Kartanegara. All delegations from the 9 countries comprising a  total number of 259 artists have confirmed their participation in the festival.

For a full 8 days, the festival will be highlighted with a range of fascinating attractions including an International Cultural Parade which will feature traditional costumes from participating countries, a number of Kutai Kartanegara’s interesting traditional ceremonies, the Beseprah traditional folk feast,  and the Belimbur ritual where participants splash each other with water taken from the Mahakam River t.  The festival will hit its pinnacle on the its final day with the exciting tradition of Mengulur Naga. Following this tradition, a pair of huge dragon replicas will be paraded  on boats down the river . The dragons will be released at Kutai Lama where a popular folk legend says  is the dragon’s den. Upon its release, people  compete to grab the scales of the dragons which are believed to bring good fortune. There will also be an arts & crafts expo, various competitions, dragon boat races, a Ketinting boat race, street art performances, and a whole lot more.

Once capital city of the mighty Kutai Sultanate, the town of Tenggarong is situated some 47 Km or a little over an hour’s drive from Samarinda, capital city of East Kalimantan Province.  Samarinda can be reached from  the air hub at Sepinggan airport in Balikpapan City,  where are available daily flights to Samarinda served by KalStar and Susi Air. There are a number of inns and modest hotels in Tenggarong, but for a broader options of accommodation you can stay in hotels in Samarinda. While in Tenggarong, take time to visit a number of attractions nearby such as the Mulawarman Museum (The Palace of Kutai Sultanate), Kumala Island, and  the Kutai National Park.


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