Sociology Index

Social Customs And Traditions In Indonesia

Social Customs And Traditions, Books On Customs And Traditions

The Indonesian culture originated from the farming activities of the indigenous people. It was influenced by the waves of traders from India, China, Saudi Arabia and Europe which also brought their religious teachings. Customs and traditions which have merged with religious teachings, have different ceremonies and festivities, which vary from area to area.

Customs and Traditions
Whilst unity has been a result of history, different cultures are based on many different ethnic groups found in the country which have maintained their traditions, languages and dialects. Protected by adat or customary law which differs from one region to another.

Ultimately, adat is man's ties to his family and to his community and is applied to his way of life. Western influence arrived with the Portuguese, in the early 16th century and later with the arrival of British and Dutch merchants. The Hindu cultural heritage, Ramayana and Mahabharata epics which play an important role in the Indonesian culture.

New Year, January 1st: The first of January is a national holiday, Indonesians usually celebrate New Year's Eve in various forms and festivities. It is not a traditional celebration.


Major Religious Holidays in Indonesia
Major celebrations with respect to other religions are commemorated by those who follow the religions concerned are proclaimed as National Holidays by the Government.

Moslem Religious Holidays in Indonesia - Eidil Fitri
This celebration is based upon the lunar calendar, therefore it does not always fall on the same date or month of the solar calendar. The celebration follows general prayers at the Mosque after which people visit each other to pay respects and ask their elders and friends for forgiveness. Indonesians celebrate Eidil Fitri for two days as a national holidays.

Eid'l Adha: Pilgrimage holiday
The Moslem Day of sacrifices, commemorated with mass prayers at mosque and in town square. Goats and cattle are slaughtered and the meat given to the poor and needy.

Muharram 1st: New Year
Isra' and Mi'raj of Prophet Mohammad: ascension day

Maulud: Birthday of Prophet Mohammad.
In Yogyakarta, celebrations to commemorate of the birthday of the Prophet Mohammad, about one week before the actual day, begin with traditional ceremonies, carnivals and festival.

On the day of the birthday of Prophet Mohammad, a parade of the Keraton guards and procession of the Gunungan start from 8:00 a.m. at the Northern Square.

Christian Religious Holidays in Indonesia

Good Friday: Ascension day of Jesus Christ

Christmas: Christmas is celebrated nationwide, particularly by those who profess the Christian faith. Celebrations during Christmas day have a somewhat regional flavor throughout the various cultures in Indonesia.

Buddhist Holidays in Indonesia
Waicak: Buddha's birthday and death
Preceded by the holy fire, the Buddha statue and a Miniature stupa are carried in a procession, followed by the Bikhsus, clad in their yellow robes and members of the Buddhist community.

Hindu Religious Holidays in Indonesia

Nyepi: Saka New Year. The Hindu Dharma New Year of the solar/lunar calendar is celebrated only in the island of Bali.