Unique Festivals during Lebaran in Indonesia


Indonesia is a very diverse country. This archipelagic nation consists of thousands of tribes. An island even has several different tribes with a completely different language and tradition. However, sometimes they are bound by similar lining like religion. You can find many festivals during Lebaran in Indonesia, for example.

Perang topat ammunition. via Instagram/gerryarfanata

Each tribe has a different specific way to celebrate the victory day after a month of daily fasting. You can see that the festivals vastly differs for each region. Here are some unique festivals during Lebaran in Indonesia.


Tumbilotohe. via Instagram/bangpo94

If you go to Gorontalo during Lebaran, you will encounter a lovely tradition. People will make oil lamps from used bottles. The lamps are put in public places like at the side of the road, mosques, or even schools. This tradition was initially started when people need to deliver zakat (alms) during the night. However, this tradition has become an effort to beautify the city rather than to actually provide lights at night.

Perang Topat    

Perang Topat. via Instagram/fahmyjurnalispreneur

Literally means ‘ketupat war’, this is actually a quite fun festival. If you ever heard of tomato war tradition, perang topat has a similar concept. Sasak people will parade their crops before then lobbing ketupat at each other. In some places, the war was between Hindu and Islamic communities. However, there is no animosity whatsoever as they do it for fun. After the war ends, they still shake each other hands.

Grebek Syawal

Grebek Syawal. via Instagram/onynakeke

After a festive Lebaran period, you can still enjoy Grebek Syawal festival in Yogyakarta and several other Central Java regions. This is essentially the way of the royal palace to celebrate Lebaran. Crops and foods are set in a giant cone and then paraded. At the end of the parade, people will usually scramble for the food and crops. They believe the food there can bring happiness and luck.

Pukul Sapu

Perang Sapu. via Instagram/alvinadw_

On the seventh day of Lebaran, people from Morella and Mamala Village in Central Maluku will gather in front of the Grand Mosque. Some of them bring thrasher made from the bone of coconut leaves. The representatives from both villages will then fight by hitting the opponents with the thrasher. This war usually lasts for half an hour or so. This tradition can be a bit bloody.

Meriam Karbit

Meriam karbit. via Instagram/buntatkeju

On the eve of Lebaran, people In Pontianak celebrate by firing cannons made of woods or bamboos. These cannons don’t use gunpowder because they only need the banging sound. So they use carbide with water. The cannons are painted with beautiful colors and then placed at the bank of Kapuas River. This tradition has been going on for 200 years or so.

Perang Topat. via Instagram/gerryarfanata

Indonesia is rich with different tribes, traditions, and languages. Some of them are reflected during Islamic holidays. You might want to put unique festivals during Lebaran in Indonesia in your bucket list.

festivals Indonesia Lebaran