Have A Holiday!

A list of upcoming Indonesian public holidays, PLUS their implications for travel in Indonesia.

Indonesia has a relatively large number of public holidays, with e.g. New Year holidays for four different religions/calendars. This can be useful to know for visitors planning when to go or when not to go, to know when Indonesian embassies/consulates are closed, or when Indonesian domestic flights and hotels will be cheap or expensive.

Please click on the relevant date for more information:

2 June 2011 | 29 June 2011 | 17 August 2011 | 30-31 August 2011

6 November 2011 | 27 November 2011 | 25 December 2011

1 January 2012 | 23 January 2012 | 4 February 2012 | 23 March 2012

6 April 2012 | 6 May 2012

Please note: All religious holidays except Christmas change dates each year. This page will be updated as the dates of future holidays become known.

Thursday 2 June 2011

Ascension of JesusWhat for? Ascension Day (Ascension of Jesus Christ)

How will it affect my travel plans?
Unless you want to go to Church, very little. Wednesday night and Thursday morning flights may be crowded/expensive with people wanting to take a four day weekend.

(Celebrated on Thursday 17 May in 2012.)

Wednesday 29 June 2011

Ascension of MuhammadWhat for? Isra dan Miraj (Ascension of the Prophet)

How will it affect my travel plans?
Apart from possibly an slightly interrupted night’s sleep, not much. (Muslims celebrate at the local mosque with possibly an all-night prayer vigil, often broadcast on the mosque’s loudspeakers). It is already school holidays in Indonesia then, so it is already high season and many locals will already be on the road. If you are a light sleeper, stay in a room/hotel that isn’t facing/near a mosque.

Wednesday 17 August 2011

Indonesia MerdekaWhat for? Indonesia’s Independence Day (When Indonesia declared independence in 1945)

How will it affect my travel plans?
Less than usual this year, because it falls during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. There may be some street parades in Central Jakarta, leading to street closures and disruption of traffic. In other areas, there are only flag-raising ceremonies in schools, government offices, etc, and Indonesian flags everywhere – by law, locals have to display a flag at one’s residence and place of work.

Tuesday 30 – Wednesday 31 August 2011

Idul FitriWhat for? Lebaran / Idul Fitri (the end of the Muslim fasting month, like a Muslim Christmas)

How will it affect my travel plans?
It can have a large impact. If you are in a majority Muslim area, it will be difficult to travel around as many services are closed. Flights, trains and buses are full of people returning to their hometowns. Non-Muslims take advantage of the long break – schools are closed for 1-2 weeks – to have a family vacation. It is usually recommended that visitors to Indonesia either travel in a non-Muslim area (e.g. Eastern Indonesia) or stay in the one area for a few days. Mosque loudspeakers ofter go all night during Ramadan – starting at the beginning of August – so you may want to remember this when choosing a hotel or hotel room.

Sunday 6 November 2011

What for? Idul Adha (the Day of Sacrifice)

Idul AdhaHow will it affect my travel plans?
If you are a vegetarian or animal-lover, stay indoors in the morning when the knives come out and all the animals that have been dotting the roadsides are ceremonially slaughtered, and their meat given to the poor. Otherwise, minimal impact apart from mosque loudspeaker noise overnight the night before. It being on a Sunday might mean some places are closed the next day.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Islamic New YearWhat for? Muslim New Year

How will it affect my travel plans?
Minimal impact apart from mosque loudspeaker noise overnight the night before. (Muslims celebrate at the local mosque with possibly an all-night prayer vigil, often broadcast on the mosque’s loudspeakers). It being on a Sunday might mean some places are closed the next day.

Sunday 25 December 2011

Nativity SceneWhat for? Christmas (birth of Jesus Christ)

How will it affect my travel plans?
Flights to and hotels in popular tourist locations (e.g. Bali) will be full with both local and foreign tourists, and many tourist attractions will be very crowded. It is also the wet season in most parts of Indonesia (but not Ambon), but this rarely means rain all day; it is usually just an afternoon storm. It being on a Sunday might mean some places are closed the next day.

Sunday 1 January 2012

What for? (Gregorian/Solar) New Year

How will it affect my travel plans?
The day before, it will be difficult to travel in the main streets of some larger cities, which are closed to all vehicles in the afternoon in preparation for parties. Hotel prices tend to increase at this time, too. It being on a Sunday might mean some places are closed the next day.

Saturday 23 January 2012

Gong Chi Fa ChaiWhat for? Chinese New Year

How will it affect my travel plans?
There may be traffic jams in areas where there are many Chinese Indonesians, e.g. Glodok in North Jakarta, the night before and during the day. Otherwise, any effect will be small.

Friday 4 February 2012

Maulid NabiWhat for? Maulid Nabi, a.k.a. The Prophet’s Birthday.

How will it affect my travel plans?
Minimal impact apart from mosque loudspeaker noise overnight the night before. (Muslims celebrate at the local mosque with possibly an all-night prayer vigil, often broadcast on the mosque’s loudspeakers).

Friday 23 March 2012

NyepiWhat for? Nyepi, a.k.a Hindu New Year, Saka New Year, The Day of Seclusion

How will it affect my travel plans?
It is a day of silence for Hindus, with no noise, work or travel. If you are in Bali, you have to stay indoors. Electricity is turned off in many areas, and the silence is governed by Hindu security guards called “pecalang”. 5-star resorts in e.g. Nusa Dua, Jimbaran Bay and Ubud allow guests to perform outdoor activities within the hotel grounds. Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport in Denpasar is closed for both international and domestic flights from sunset on the day before until sunset on the actual holiday. In other areas, flights will probably just be more expensive with people taking advantage of the long weekend.

Friday 6 April 2012

Good FridayWhat for? Good Friday (there is no holiday for Easter or Easter Monday)

How will it affect my travel plans?
Most likely less than in your home country, as in Indonesia it’s only a 3-day long weekend. Having said that, flights to/from tourists centres in e.g. Bali, Lombok will be full or more expensive than usual.

Sunday 6 May 2012

WaisakWhat for? Waisak, a.k.a. Buddha’s Birthday

How will it affect my travel plans?
Borobudur will be closed for Buddhist temple rituals, otherwise not much as it’s on a weekend. It being on a Sunday might mean some places are closed the next day.


If you have a question about any of the holidays above, please ask with a comment below.

Have A Holiday! is brought to you by Indonesia Matters, where you can book flights in Indonesia, and features listings of Indonesian hotels, like Kuta hotels, Sanur hotels, hotels in Jakarta and near Jakarta airport, and more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *