The East Flores regency is located at the very eastern tip of Flores, together with the islands of Adonara and Solor. It was established in 1958 with Larantuka as its capital, known also as the City of 1000 Churches, Naples of the Orient, Italy of Flores and Spain of the Lesser Sunda Islands. With a population of about 38,000 people, Larantuka is famous for breathtaking panoramas and splendid views as well as its friendly and outgoing people. Like the rest of Flores, the population is predominantly Roman Catholic.
The city has a strong colonial Portuguese influence as it was the Portuguese trading centre of South East Indonesia and the centre of sandalwood trading. During the Dutch occupation, many Portuguese traders moved to Larantuka. They took local spouses, and the new generations called themselves Topasses, or Larantuqueiros (inhabitants of Larantuka).
An important time for religious celebrations in Larantuka is the “Holy Week”, which takes place one week before Easter. The celebration’s center stage is on two religious statues, one of Jesus Christ and one of Virgin Mary. These statues were brought to Larantuka by Portuguese missionaries Gaspar do Espírito Santo and Agostinho de Madalena in the 16th century. These statues are only available for public viewing every Easter and remain in the church’s safekeeping for the rest of the year.
*Photo by Valentino Luis
A week before Easter, the town of Larantuka will be awash with thousands of devotees for the annual Easter Holy Week devotions, also called the Semana Santa procession by the locals. The route along the 10km parade will be lighted with candles for the procession as thousands celebrate by carrying the statues of Jesus and his mother, Mary. *Photo by * bisniswisata.co.id
During this week, pilgrims from Bali, Java, and the surrounding islands in East Nusa Tenggara as well as international tourists will come to Larantuka to witness or participate in this one of a kind week-long event.
*Photo by Flores Tourism
For more insights and info on Larantuka and East Flores, click here and do leave a comment on our Facebook page and Instagram accounts to let us know what you think. Join us next week as we Rediscover Hidden Paradise and be sure to tag #floresplus to be featured!
Newsletter – Flores Plus Magazine
Rediscover Hidden Paradise
Flores Plus Magazine’s weekly newsletter is filled with important and interesting bite-sized information on everything you’d need to know about Flores and its surrounding islands, both above and underwater, from the Komodo National Park to the Komodo Dragons, Mount Kelimutu to the Drum Houses in Ende, spiderweb rice fields, pink beaches and thundering waterfalls to fascinating ceremonies, myths, traditions and village lives of the local people. Flores Plus is part of the PT. Trijaya Dewata family, a premier publishing and media brand in Bali and Indonesia. Established in 1996, it has decades of experience with multiple titles in three languages published over the years. With the launch of Flores Plus, the company now will lead the way as one of the pioneers of tourist media in Flores and Komodo. Available now in English and soon in Japanese, the magazine has a strong online presence and engagement via its website, daily e-newsletters and social media platforms which are updated daily.