Have A Holiday!

Last updated: September 16, 2014
Beach Holiday

A list of upcoming Indonesian public holidays, PLUS their implications for travel in Indonesia.

Indonesia has a relatively large number of public holidays, with e.g. New Year holidays for four different religions/calendars. This can be useful to know for visitors planning when to go or when not to go, to know when Indonesian embassies/consulates are closed, or when Indonesian domestic flights, trains and hotels will be cheap or expensive.

Please click on the relevant date for more information:

1 January 2014 | 14 January 2014 | 31 January 2014 | 31 March 2014

18 April 2014 | 1 May 2014 | 15 May 2014 | 27 May 2014

29 May 2014 | 28-29 July 2014 | 17 August 2014

5 October 2014 | 25 October 2014 | 25 December 2014

Please note: All religious holidays except Christmas change dates each year. This page will be updated as the dates of future holidays become known.


Wednesday 1 January 2014

What for? (Gregorian/Solar) New Year

How will it affect my travel plans?
The day before, it will be difficult to travel in the main streets of some larger cities, which are closed to all vehicles in the afternoon in preparation for parties. Hotel prices tend to increase at this time, too. Some smaller airlines have reduced their schedules also.


Tuesday 14 January 2014

Maulid NabiWhat for? Maulid Nabi, a.k.a. The Prophet’s Birthday.

How will it affect my travel plans?
Minimal impact apart from mosque loudspeaker noise overnight the night before. (Muslims celebrate at the local mosque with possibly an all-night prayer vigil, often broadcast on the mosque’s loudspeakers). Some people and businesses might take a 4-day long weekend. Banks may be closed too, so you might have to find another ATM.


Friday 31 January 2014

Gong Chi Fa ChaiWhat for? Chinese New Year

How will it affect my travel plans?
There may be traffic jams in areas where there are many Chinese Indonesians, e.g. Glodok in North Jakarta, the night before and during the day. Otherwise, any effect will be small.


Monday 31 March 2014

NyepiWhat for? Nyepi, a.k.a Hindu New Year, Saka New Year, The Day of Seclusion

How will it affect my travel plans?
It is a day of silence for Hindus, with no noise, work or travel. If you are in Bali, you have to stay indoors. Electricity is turned off in many areas, and the silence is governed by Hindu security guards called “pecalang”. 5-star resorts in e.g. Nusa Dua, Jimbaran Bay and Ubud allow guests to perform outdoor activities within the hotel grounds. Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport in Denpasar is closed for both international and domestic flights from 00:01 until 23:59. In other areas, flights will probably just be more expensive with people taking a long weekend. More information here.


Friday 18 April 2014

Good FridayWhat for? Good Friday (there is no holiday for Easter or Easter Monday)

How will it affect my travel plans?
Most likely less than in your home country, as in Indonesia it’s only a 3-day long weekend. Having said that, flights to/from tourists centres in e.g. Bali, Lombok will be full or more expensive than usual.


Thursday 1 May 2014

May Day CartoonWhat for? May Day (a.k.a. Labour Day)

How will it affect my travel plans?
In larger cities, trade unions have large marches through the centre of town which will disrupt traffic flow. Otherwise, minimal impact except for some people taking 4-day long weekends. Please note: May Day is being celebrated for the first time in Indonesia this year.


Thursday 15 May 2013

WaisakWhat for? Waisak, a.k.a. Buddha’s Birthday

How will it affect my travel plans?
Borobudur will be closed for Buddhist temple rituals, otherwise not much. Some may take a 4-day long weekend.


Tuesday 27 May 2014

Ascension of MuhammadWhat for? Isra dan Miraj (Ascension of the Prophet)

How will it affect my travel plans?
Apart from possibly an slightly interrupted night’s sleep, not much. (Muslims celebrate at the local mosque with possibly an all-night prayer vigil, often broadcast on the mosque’s loudspeakers). It is already school holidays in Indonesia then, so it is already high season and many locals will already be on the road. If you are a light sleeper, stay in a room/hotel that isn’t facing/near a mosque. Some may take a 4-day long weekend or the entire week off – see below.


Thursday 29 May 2014

Ascension of JesusWhat for? Ascension Day (Ascension of Jesus Christ)

How will it affect my travel plans?
Unless you want to go to Church, very little. Wednesday night and Thursday morning flights may be crowded/expensive with people wanting to take a four day weekend. Some may take a 4-day long weekend.


Monday 28 – Tuesday 29 July 2014

Idul FitriWhat for? Lebaran / Idul Fitri (the end of the Muslim fasting month, like a Muslim Christmas)

How will it affect my travel plans?
It can have a large impact. If you are in a majority Muslim area, it will be difficult to travel around as many services are closed. Flights, trains and buses are full of people returning to their hometowns. Non-Muslims take advantage of the long break – schools are closed for 1-2 weeks – to have a family vacation. It is usually recommended that visitors to Indonesia either travel in a non-Muslim area (e.g. Eastern Indonesia) or stay in the one area for a few days. Mosque loudspeakers ofter go all night during Ramadan – starting in early July – so you may want to remember this when choosing a hotel or hotel room. There are also compulsory leave days on 30 July-1 August, so banks and government agencies (including the immigration department) will be closed all week. Some smaller airlines stop flying all together on the actual holiday.


Sunday 17 August 2014

Indonesia MerdekaWhat for? Indonesia’s Independence Day (When Indonesia declared independence in 1945)

How will it affect my travel plans?
There will be street parades in Central Jakarta, leading to street closures and disruption of traffic. In other areas, there are only flag-raising ceremonies in schools, government offices, etc, and Indonesian flags everywhere – by law, locals have to display a flag at one’s residence and place of work. When holidays fall on Sundays in Indonesia, there is no “replacement holiday” on the Monday.


Sunday 5 October 2013

What for? Idul Adha (the Day of Sacrifice)

Idul AdhaHow will it affect my travel plans?
If you are a vegetarian or animal-lover, stay indoors in the morning when the knives come out and all the animals that have been dotting the roadsides are ceremonially slaughtered, and their meat given to the poor. Otherwise, minimal impact apart from mosque loudspeaker noise overnight the night before. When holidays fall on Sundays in Indonesia, there is no “replacement holiday” on the Monday.


Saturday 25 October 2014

Islamic New YearWhat for? Muslim New Year

How will it affect my travel plans?
Minimal impact apart from mosque loudspeaker noise overnight the night before. (Muslims celebrate at the local mosque with possibly an all-night prayer vigil, often broadcast on the mosque’s loudspeakers). When holidays fall on Saturdays in Indonesia, there is no “replacement holiday” on the Monday.


Thursday 25 December 2013

Nativity SceneWhat for? Christmas (birth of Jesus Christ)

How will it affect my travel plans?
Flights to and hotels in popular tourist locations (e.g. Bali) will be full with both local and foreign tourists, and many tourist attractions will be very crowded. It is also the wet season in most parts of Indonesia (but not those right on the Equator, e.g. Ambon, Medan), but this rarely means rain all day; it is usually just an afternoon storm. There is also a compulsory leave day on 26 December, when banks and government agencies (including the immigration department) will be closed.


If you have a question about any of the holidays above, please ask with a comment below.



18 Comments on Have A Holiday!

  1. avatar vitta Says:
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:57 am

    it’ll be more helpfull if there is also an academic schedule (kalender akademik)…

  2. avatar Chris Says:
    May 26th, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Hi Vitta,

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Most of the visitors to the Mau Ke Mana site (where this post was originally written) are visitors to Indonesia, and do not need to know when Indonesian school holidays are.

    In addition, my experience is it seems to change significantly from school to school.

    However, I understand that this might impact flight availability and prices, if there are many Indonesians travelling at the same times.

    So, there are usually Indonesian school holidays at the following times:

    - 1 week around Easter.

    - 3 weeks from mid-June to early July. (These are the “summer holidays”; the Indonesian school year follows the Northern Hemisphere).

    - 1-2 weeks before/after Lebaran.

    - 1-2 weeks around Christmas and New Year.

    In addition, government schools and public servants sometimes have a compulsory leave day before a public holiday falling on a Tuesday or after a public holiday falling on a Thursday. This gives them 4-day weekends, and is designed to “promote domestic tourism”.

    Other holidays are for: the first day of Ramadan/fasting (this year at the start of August), national and provincial elections (the next national elections are in 2014), local celebrations.

  3. avatar berlian biru Says:
    May 26th, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    A minor important point but worth knowing is that the night before Idul Adha everything shuts up early and getting a taxi after 8pm is like catching a unicorn. Two years running I have been caught out like that and it’s no joke being stuck in the wrong end of Jakarta at night with no idea of how you’re getting home. Given that it falls on a Sunday this year that will mean that Saturday night revellers could be badly caught out.

    On a further point for those of us working here, it’s an absolute bummer that four of the public holidays fall on a Sunday with no make up day off on the following Monday.

  4. avatar madrotter Says:
    May 27th, 2011 at 2:20 am

    well, every weekend bandung is packed with jakartans who love to spend their days here in traffic jams and factory outlets, during all the holidays and long weekends it’s a disaster zone, nothing moving, you’ve got to experience it to understand how horrific it can get here during those times….

    i used to love ramadhan, specially around idul fitri, the city almost empty, peaceful, no pollution, you could actually see the mountains, now i really dread that time of the year:(

  5. avatar Nissan Bandung Says:
    June 22nd, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I aggre with madrotter, every weekend Bandung is filled with jakartans but i can say it in the positive way that it brings money to the people of bandung especially PKL(pedagan kaki lima)

    Bravo Kota Kembang

  6. avatar Oigal Says:
    June 22nd, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Well think I said before, but Bandung was my chosen place to retire before the toll road went through. :-(

  7. avatar Odinius Says:
    June 22nd, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Bandung now = macet nightmare on holiday weekends.

    Jakarta, by contrast, gets much less crowded, less polluted and nicer as a result.

  8. avatar Lai Peng Says:
    September 20th, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Hi there,

    I’m planning to visit the education agents & schools in Jakarta for a working trip.
    Can someone advise if there is an official site that list the various school terms/holidays /breaks for high school/ senior high schools in Indonesia?

    All replies appreciate.

    TIA

  9. avatar Chris Says:
    October 2nd, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Hi Lai Peng,

    I suggest you read my previous comment (#2) on this page for a general guide. I can’t find a list of dates on the Indonesian Education Ministry website or elsewhere.

  10. avatar Chris Says:
    October 2nd, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Here are two other events coming soon that may disrupt people’s travel plans:

    1. THE EAST ASIA SUMMIT: 19 NOVEMBER 2011
    Held in Bali. Likely to be accommodation shortages in Nusa Dua, and traffic chaos in other parts of Bali due to VIP security needs. Domestic and international flight schedules may also be disrupted.

    2. THE SOUTH-EAST ASIAN GAMES: 11-21 NOVEMBER 2011
    Held in Jakarta and Palembang. Domestic and international flights into/out of these cities are likely to be fully booked in the days before, during and after the Games. Hotels are also likely to have high occupancy rates.

  11. avatar suraya Says:
    October 5th, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Hi all,

    Am planning to visit Bandung during the 27 November 2011 weekend. Was wondering if a public holiday falls on a Sunday in Indonesia, is Monday automatically declared a public holiday too, like in Malaysia? If it so, should I avoid visiting Bandung during a long holiday weekend like that?

  12. avatar Chris Says:
    October 7th, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Hi suraya,

    Was wondering if a public holiday falls on a Sunday in Indonesia, is Monday automatically declared a public holiday too, like in Malaysia?

    Not usually, no.

    If it so, should I avoid visiting Bandung during a long holiday weekend like that?

    Since the new toll-road between Jakarta and Bandung opened in 2005 (halving the travelling time by car), almost every weekend Bandung is crowded with Jakartans. See previous comments about this.

    I don’t think the Muslim New Year being on a Sunday will change this.

  13. avatar imo Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    i think it better for u to change word on the mosque loud speaker to something appropriate. this is understood all around the world. a call for preys. i found it in appropriate words. thank you

  14. avatar Oigal Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    IMO, What is understood by you as a call to prayer is to many others a Mosque Loudspeaker which often due to over amplification, tinny speakers and general abuse that detracts rather than attracts.

    If you wish to see it done in a harmonious way, taking into consideration everyone’s concerns I suggest a visit to Singapore.

    Although to be fair, Loudspeakers, malls, screeches and noise seem to take on a life of their own in Indonesia. Personally I believe a microphone should be considered a weapon of assault in Indonesia.

  15. avatar Chris Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Thanks for your feedback Imo,

    My feelings are somewhere in the middle.

    Calls to prayer are supposed to be like bells on a Church; usually done for a short time (e.g. two minutes) before a specified time of service/prayer/reflection, and other special times. The call to prayer existed and presumably worked well long before the days of microphones, speakers and amplification; this suggests the excessive volume that is a common feature on Indonesian calls to prayer is a local custom, not a Muslim one.

    My other evidence of it being a local, not Muslim, custom: the music at my Church, which is also uncomfortably loud. I suppose one difference is the Church doesn’t unleash it on the entire neighbourhood; you have to be inside the building to hear it. Probably that would generate complaints from others.

    So for now, I will continue to use the word “loudspeaker” to accurately portray the core of the issue – not the act of worship itself, but the excessive volume and duration.

  16. avatar Lorraine Says:
    January 19th, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Hi Chris,

    I wanted to know if I should expect shops and stores closing during public holidays in Indonesia in general and in Jakarta in particular. Do shops always stay opened or do they close on some of these national holidays?

    Besides, as a shopper, do you have any clue of the sales seasons and their duration in Jakarta?

    Thank you

  17. avatar Chris Says:
    January 20th, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Hi Lorraine,

    Larger shops and malls generally open like usual during public holidays. The one exception is during Idul Fitri, when most smaller shops will close for about a week while their proprietors/staff return to their villages. Sometimes they do reduced hours on bigger holidays like Idul Adha and Christmas, only opening in the afternoon. Also, a lot of places close temporarily around sunset during Ramadan, so the staff can have their fast-breaking meal; for the same reason, there are no sessions at the cinema starting at 4 or 5 pm.

    I don’t know so much about sales seasons. The one I remember is Jakarta Great Sale; it is during the summer holidays (June-July) and the anniversary of the founding of Jakarta.

  18. avatar Chris Says:
    November 17th, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I recently saw on BBC World’s travel program, Fast Track that Indonesia with 14 public holidays ranks #4 in the world for most public holidays, behind Japan (15), the Philippines (18) and Argentina (19).

    However, Wikipedia says in 2008 it was Egypt and Hong Kong/China (16) followed by India and Indonesia (15).

    Another survey says Colombia (18).

    Whatever the correct answer, there are certainly more than in most other countries… enjoy!

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