Festivals and Events in Jakarta

Jakarta has a full calendar of festivals throughout the year. Here you will find information and a description of the events with links to their websites where available...

Jakarta is Indonesia’s social capital and offers a variety of festivals and events throughout the year.

Lunar New Year: A public holiday throughout the nation, the Lunar New Year is welcomed with a series of festivities. In the weeks before and immediately after Lunar New Year, shopping centres – particularly in west Jakarta – hold various events, including lion dances (barongsai) with mythical dragons. The Petak Sembilan neighbourhood in Glodok (Jakarta’s Chinatown), is another point of interest, while in the Ancol seaside district, there are dragon boat races.

Cap Go Meh: Fifteen days after Lunar New Year, the Cap Go Meh celebrations mark the end of the New Year festivities. Also known as the Festival of Lanterns, Cap Go Meh comes from the Chinese Hokkien dialect and means ‘fifteenth day of the first month’. Various events are held in Kampung Cina in the Kota Wisata residential area in Cibubur, as well as in front of the Taman Fatahillah Museum in Kota.

March

Java Jazz Festival: One of the musical highlights in Jakarta, this event features both national and international musicians. It is usually held at the Jakarta International Expo, located in Kemayoran.

May

Jakarta Food and Fashion Festival: An annual collaboration between the Jakarta Tourism Office and one of the city’s leading property developers, this festival is held in the Sentra Kelapa Gading area of north Jakarta. Designer fashion shows are combined with a celebration of local and international culinary events.

Jakarta Highland Gathering: Scotland might be on the other side of the world, but Jakarta holds its own version of the traditional Highland games and festivities at the Highland Gathering. Held in recent years in the Lippo Karawaci area in Tangerang, it is a much-awaited event for both expatriates and locals alike. The event is attended by the UK Ambassador and the Governor of Jakarta.

Jakarta International 10K: Part of a series of events running up to the celebration of Jakarta’s founding, which takes place in June, this 10 Km road race attracts the most viewer participation of any event in Indonesia.

June

There are numerous events related to the Jakarta Anniversary, which celebrates the date that Jakarta became the capital of Indonesia.

Festival Jalan Jaksa: A true street festival with a variety of indigenous Betawi cultural shows such as palang pintu, silat, gambang kromong, tanjidor, marawis and ondel-ondel. Known as an area for budget-conscious tourists, the event showcases an interesting combination of local and foreign tastes.

Festival Palang Pintu: Also known as Festival Kemang, this event is jointly organised by the Sanggar Manggar Kelape (a Betawi cultural and artistic group living in Kemang, south Jakarta) and the Jakarta government. During the event, the already vibrant neighbourhood of Kemang hosts parades, fashion shows, bazaars, and fun bike events, while traditional Betawi dishes are sold at street stalls. Jalan Kemang Raya is closed throughout this period, allowing pedestrians to fully appreciate the Betawi cultural experience.

Festival Passer Baroe: Held in the Passer Baroe neighbourhood (Passer Baroe means ‘New Market’), this festival features culinary and social events celebrating the Betawi culture. However, because of its location, there is a greater emphasis on commerce and shopping.

June-July

Jakarta Fair/Pekan Raya Jakarta: The annual Jakarta Fair is the largest of its kind in Indonesia, with art, cultural and business exhibitions. Held in Kemayoran, it features a different theme every year.

Jakarta Great Sale: A cooperative venture between the Jakarta government, the Indonesian Association of Retail Businesses, and the local chapter of the Indonesian Shopping Centres Association, events take place over a month in most of the large shopping centres. Shopping and discounts are the main feature, as well as social and cultural events.

July

Festival Kota Tua: An annual event which takes place in front of the Taman Fatahillah Museum (Jakarta History Museum, Museum Sejarah Jakarta) in west Jakarta where there is a large Chinese population. There are cultural and social events, including the lenong, gambang kromong, and the lion dance (barongsai), in a multi-ethnic atmosphere.

Festival Pesisir: A newcomer to the festival scene, this festival is held at the Sunda Kelapa harbour, with cities and districts across Indonesia also participating. Festival Kampung Tugu is a part of Pesisir and is held in front of the Portuguese Tugu Church in Cilincing, north Jakarta. The inhabitants of this small but historic community are direct descendants of captive Portuguese who were liberated and allowed to settle there by the Dutch in the sixteenth century. Kampung Tugu is the birthplace of Kroncong music, a fusion of Portuguese-influenced and indigenous music.

Jakarta International Kite Festival: Held annually, this festival, which is organised jointly by the Jakarta Tourism Office and the Le Gong Kite Society, showcases local and international kites. Competitions and events are held in the Ancol area in north Jakarta.

August

Independence Day: Held on 17 August, this public holiday is a national highlight, with most Indonesians holding neighbourhood celebrations. There are traditional competitions such as krupuk-eating, tug-of-war, sack races, and pinang tree climbing. The presidential palace (Istana Merdeka) is the focal point for a ceremony held every year at 10:00. Students chosen from all over Indonesia, as well as the military, accompany a replica of the original national flag, the Sang Saka Merah Putih, to a flag hoisting ceremony in the parade grounds. Veterans, government officials, and foreign dignitaries also attend.

September

Indonesian International Motor Show: Held annually in Kemayoran, this week-long event is the largest motor exhibition in Indonesia. Major motor companies attend, and customised and concept cars are exhibited.

Jakarta-Japan Matsuri Festival: Endorsed by the Japanese Embassy in Indonesia and the Jakarta government, the Matsuri festival is a week-long event held at various venues across Jakarta. There are art, cultural, culinary and outdoor events which aim to strengthen the bonds between the Indonesian and Japanese people.

Jakarta Soulnation Festival: Celebrating soul, hip hop, R&B and rap, the festival features local and international artists.

October

Jak Jazz: Also known as the Jakarta International Jazz Festival, this annual jazz festival features local and international artists.

December

Jakarta International Film Festival: The JiFFest shows local and international films, short films and documentaries. There are also competitions.