Cover - Christmas, Indonesia

Part 1 of 2 – Celebrating Christmas in Indonesia

 

Part 1 of 2 – Celebrating Christmas in Indonesia

Part 2 of 2 – Celebrating Christmas in Indonesia

 

Even though you may think that Christmas is not an especially important holiday in Indonesia since the most of the people of this country have the Islamic religious views (more than 80 percent), that would be a wrong conclusion since there are twenty million people in this country spectacularly celebrating Christmas every year.

During this day, churches and cathedrals all over the country have the special services that include the Nativity drama performance organized by the people celebrating Christmas who gather in the process of the nativity scenes creation. This means that celebrating Christmas in Indonesia actually can be a really unique and special experience.

 

Variety of Christmas trees in Indonesia

 

When it comes to Christmas trees, there is a variety of choices. Even though most of the people are used to having artificial trees, some of them may also have the real pine trees that are adequately decorated. But that’s not all!

Christmas trees made of chicken feathers - Christmas, Indonesia

Christmas trees made of chicken feathers – Christmas, Indonesia

There is a special kind of Christmas trees that are pretty interesting since they are made of the chicken feathers and they are a common thing in the area of the island of Bali, where the habitants of this island put an enormous effort to produce them. This kind of Christmas tree is not only popular in Indonesia, but also in some other places in the world, which means that Balinese people have to work hard to produce enough trees both for their usage in Indonesia and for the needs of the people who celebrate Christmas abroad.

If you are looking for a Christmas tree in Indonesia, it won’t be difficult for you to find it since the most of the stores, shopping malls and commercial centers throughout the country offer you a wide variety of trees in different sizes and colors and usually you can find them in the stores starting from the first days of December. Christmas trees sold in the stores can be decorated, or you can buy them without decoration and be creative. In addition to these, Indonesian also like to improvise, so they also make Christmas trees using paper, plastic bottles, woods and many other materials.

A giant Christmas tree made out of up of 58,000 empty plastic water bottles in a shopping mall in Jakarta, Java - Christmas, Indonesia

A giant Christmas tree made out of up of 58,000 empty plastic water bottles in a shopping mall in Jakarta, Java – Christmas, Indonesia

However, maybe the most interesting type of the Christmas trees that can be found in Indonesia are the edible Christmas trees entirely made of high quality chocolate. Some of the best chocolatiers of Indonesia take part in this delicious Christmas project. How can you not love the Christmas celebration in Indonesia?

 

How does it look like

Inevitable Christmas Carols

The festive Christmas mood wouldn’t be the same without special Christmas carols. One of the most popular carols in Indonesia is “Malam Kudus”, which is the Indonesian version of “Silent Night”. You can hear these songs in churches where they are performed by the choirs of the churches during the candle-light service.

TV Program on Christmas Day

During the Christmas Day and Christmas Eve, you’ll be able to enjoy numerous musical concerts and performances related to Christmas on most of the Indonesian broadcasting services. There is also a public event dedicated to Christmas celebration and it is held every year by the Government of Indonesia. This event is live broadcasted by the national broadcaster of Indonesia named TVRI channel. Maybe it will surprise you, but Indonesian Christmas program is pretty much the same as the western programs – it includes some of the most famous movies from Hollywood as well as the legendary Home Alone movies marathon.

What about Santa?

Sinterklaas on a bike - Christmas, Indonesia

Sinterklaas on a bike – Christmas, Indonesia

Santa’s name in Indonesia is Sinterklaas, and, as anywhere else on the planet, he is believed to bring gifts for the children on the day of Christmas. During the holidays, you can find Sinterklaas literally anywhere – in the stores, shopping malls, streets and other public places.

In Indonesia, you can both find western-style version of Santa in larger cities, but also the local ones, that are not really red-uniformed fake-bearded grandpas. You may find them with the real beards, wearing traditional striped lurik (handwoven Javanese fabric). They also won’t be riding the Rudolph-pulled sleigh, but pedaling their rickshaws while their elves are jumping around them through the area.