Kalimantan Events, Things to Do and Festivals 2014 / 2015

(Kalimantan, Indonesia)

Depending where you are staying on the island of Kalimantan, you may well be close to some traditional Indonesian festivals and annual events. Things to do and enjoy vary greatly around the island, although national events, such as the Hari Proklamasi (Indonesian Independence Day) on August 17th, are held everywhere, with many regional festivals and festivities celebrating the historical independence from Dutch colonial rule, more than 350 years ago.

At the busy city of Banjarmasin, in South Kalimantan, the Independence Day events include exciting boat races along the river (the Sungai Martapura), which always draw large crowds. The rivers of Banjarmasin have become an integral part of life in South Kalimantan, and most days are the venue for traditional floating markets, where local produce is sold in abundance, on boats of all shapes and sizes.

Kalimantan Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015

Also in Banjarmasin and during the Ramadan events, a large collection of stalls gather around the Mesjid Raya and the Pasar Baru (close to the City Hall) to sell their acclaimed Banjarese pastries, as part of the annual Cake Fair (Pasar Wadai).

At the Kutai National Park, in East Kalimantan, the annual Erau Festival takes place during the last week of September. The Erau Festival sees the indigenous Dayak People (native to Borneo), head to Tenggarong from all over Kalimantan, to dress up in their tribal regalia and perform dances and various ceremonial events. Although the Erau Festival has become a little commercial and touristy in recent years, it is a lot of fun and a good excuse for a huge inter-tribal party. The tourism centres in both Samarinda and Tenggarong will always be able to provide more information about the events, including the actual dates.

Situated in West Kalimantan, just over 140 km / 87 miles to the north of Pontianak, the city of Singkawang is well known for its annual festivals. Some of the biggest events hosted by Singkawang include the Chinese New Year and soon after the related 'Cap Go Meh', and the Gawai Dayak Naik Dango / Ngabayotn each May / June, when the local Dayak people give thanks to gods for their bountiful rice harvest. During October, Singkawang's 10-km / 6-mile running race draws crowds of spectators, as does the Dragon Cup football tournament.