Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara province is slowly but surely gaining popularity among travellers from around the world. Famous for its rich culture and traditions, you won’t want to miss these 6 amazing festivals and rituals that are held there in respective districts annually.
Whale-Hunting in Lembata (May – July)
On the Southern tip of the island is Lamalera village and it is here you will come across the traditional whale hunting community. The people of this village have been hunting Sperm Whales for centuries. They use only handmade equipment and use all parts of the whale for food or trading with other islanders nearby for corn and other food. The people of Lamalera and their whale hunting activities have received sanction from the United Nations, considering the ancestral links, primitive equipment used and the importance of the hunt to the survival of the people of Lamalera.
Semana Santa in Larantuka (March)
Semana Santa is a holy week that is celebrated every year in Larantuka one week before Easter Sunday. Thousands of Catholic pilgrims from Flores and Indonesia travel to Larantuka for the week to participate in a 7km holy parade where the statues of Jesus Christ (locally known as Tuan Ana) and Virgin Mary (locally known as Tuan Ma) and baby Jesus leads the procession.
Woven Textile Festival in Sikka
The upcoming Sikka Woven festival takes place in Sikka regency and it will bring a thousand weavers who will produce the region’s textiles and fabrics in the center of Maumere city. The festival is held to provide more support for the area’s woven textile artisans.
Kelimutu Festival (August)
The tri-coloured Kelimutu lake is located in the Ende regency and it will be the place of the upcoming Kelimutu Festival. The festival has been the icon of the Ende regency with the aim to honour the ancestors at Kelimutu.
Reba Festival in Ngada (January)
one of the most important ceremonies in the Ngada district – it is a thanksgiving celebration held annually to thank God and to honour their ancestors for blessing the villagers with good harvest and wealth. This ceremony is held over three days and is packed with rituals, food crops and livestock and focuses on the legend of the ancestors and how they travelled far and wide to find a better place to live.
Pasola War Festival (February or March)
An ancient war ritual that takes place on Sumba Island, which is famous for its horses. Warriors from different villages ride on horseback and throw spears to their opponent until blood is produced. The show of blood is a thanksgiving ritual for God and the ancestors.
Image source: globetrotting.com.au