Events To Remember – Flores & NTT

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The Parade of 1001 Sandalwood Horses 
July – Sumba Island

Although not native to the island of Flores, the Parade of 1001 Sandalwood Horses on the island of Sumba is a magnificent event that should not be missed.  This fascinating tradition is now a much anticipated annual event, attracting the attention of both local and international visitors. The entire festival will take place throughout the island over several days and in several regencies including West, East and Central Sumba. The entire festival is so visually appealing as the horses and participants will don colourful decorations and traditional clothing. Teams will compete against each other in front of a panel of judges for a set of criteria including the most impressive horse with the best decorations as well as the rider with the most skilful sets of horse management skills. Throughout the duration of the festival, guests will also be able to immerse themselves in more of NTT’s amazing culture like witnessing the making of a Tenun Ikat and traditional dance performances.

Photo by Oyi Krisnamurti

Kelimutu Festival 
August – Ende

The tri-coloured Kelimutu Lake is located in the Ende regency and it will be the location to the upcoming Kelimutu Festival. The festival is now becoming an icon for the Ende regency; local authorities and residents work together to organize the festival. Their united aim is to honour the spirit of their ancestors. The festival’s main event is the much anticipated, highly sacred and spiritual event, Pati Ka Du’a Bapu Ata Mata. This is one of the most important events of the year for the Lio people who believe that the tri-crater lakes of Kelimutu are their ancestors’ resting place. During the ceremony of Pati Ka Du’a Bapu Ata Mata, the Lio people will make sacrifices, offerings and conduct rituals for their ancestors to convey their gratitude for the past year and hold prayers and ask for blessings for the coming year. During this time, hundreds of Lio people will make a pilgrimage to Kelimutu. From 2013, this ritual was officially hosted and organized by Kelimutu National Park and Ende’s Culture and Tourism Department.

Photo by GalOn Trip via Pinterest

Caci Whip Fight 
August – Pantai Pede, Labuan Bajo

Caci is a ritual whip fighting performance, a major element in the lives of the Manggaraian people and their cultural identity. Due to the fact that it is so unique, it is a real spectacle to behold and therefore, a truly authentic tourist attraction for both local and foreign visitors. Participants are exclusively two males from different villages and spectators for both parties will come to watch the fight and cheer for their favourite which makes it a lively event. It will be incredible to watch as the warriors will use whip, shield, masks and sticks while wearing traditional headgear and dress. Caci used to be performed during Penti, a festival held after the harvests but now is performed more often as an attraction for foreigners; both domestic as well as international. As August is harvest season, you’ll be able to witness this fascinating event taking place along Pantai Pede in Labuan Bajo.

Festival Teluk Maumere 
September – Maumere 

A wonderful annual festival that highlights Maumere’s breathtaking underwater life and beautiful nature to the eyes of the world.  It is a great opportunity for nature lovers, travellers and photographers to come together to support the local government’s initiative while exploring the beauty of the Bay of Maumere and its surroundings. In the past, attendees were recorded to be from Indonesia and the world including UK, USA, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Brazil, Malaysia and Spain. A major attraction of the festival is an underwater photography contest in the categories of compact macro and compact wide-angle, and DSLR macro and DSLR wide-angle, with three generous prizes in each category of up to IDR 30,000,000. Over the course of three days, all competitors will be given the opportunity to dive six different sites and submit their best five overall shots.

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