Indonesian Independence Day is a public holiday in Indonesia which is celebrated on the 17th of August each year and marks Indonesia’s independence from Dutch colonial rule.
Interestingly, while the country gained independence from the Netherlands in 1945, it was not until 2005 that the colonial rulers officially accepted the date. Since then, the country has held celebrations every year as a way to recognise the progress that Indonesia has made over the years.
Indonesian Independence Day 2019 Date Celebrations & Parade Bali
The Presidential Palace is decorated with red and white colours in recognition of the Indonesian flag and the community comes together for clean up of the streets and residences. Each year there is a flag raising ceremony which is televised live on TV nationally and is attended by the President, Vice President and military personnel.
Traditions also include eating Indonesian crackers (known as ‘krupuk’) and cooking competitions. One of the most popular activities is the Panjat Pinang. This is where a palm tree trunk is erected and covered in grease. Prizes are hung from the top and people are challenged to climb to the top. If you make it to the top, you win the prize.
Visitors to Bali during this celebration can join in on the festivities by trying the local foods and watching the parades, cultural dances, air show and marching bands. This day is very important to the Indonesian people and people visiting during this time should treat these celebrations with the utmost respect.