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Public Holiday > Christmas

Christmas Holiday

2018 Christmas Holiday

Despite being a country with the most-populated Muslims, Christmas holiday in Indonesia is celebrated widely. Around 16,5 million Christians and 6,9 million Catholics gathered and packed every church across the country for Christmas celebration. Every year, Christmas day is celebrated on the 25th of December right on the day when Jesus born, according to the Bible.

The decision to set a date for Christmas is referred to the solar calendar system. Hence, in the A.D. calendar, Christmas always falls on 25 December.

YearDateDayPublic Holiday
2019 25 December Wednesday Christmas
202025 DecemberFridayChristmas

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Christmas 2019 is expected to fall on Wednesday. Looking at the practice for Christmas holiday in the previous years, it is anticipated that Christmas holiday in 2019 will only be one day, without any additional given holiday. So, plan your travel wisely and book a trip to nearby destinations. By traveling to nearby places, it will effectively save your time and your budget.

Meanwhile, in 2020 Christmas day is expected to fall on Friday. For workers who work on weekdays, this can be an opportunity to get a long weekend. You can plan to spend the Christmas holiday with either your loved ones or by yourself for me time.

The relationship between Christmas and Spruce trees

Towards the 25th of December, you will find so many spruce trees decorated with Christmas ornaments. The spruce tree is known as Christmas tree because it’s only easily available during the Christmas period. It is said that the birth of Jesus happened in winter. During winter, trees go on dormancy process and lose their leaves and the only one survived is the spruce tree. This is why the spruce tree is often associated with hopes and lives.

Having a spruce tree in Christmas time has become a tradition since the 19th century. Year by year, people got more used to in decorating the spruce tree to complete the Christmas festivity. Besides, celebrating Christmas has also been even more fun by exchanging Christmas cards and gifts. During the Victorian era, Christmas was celebrated by each family by having a big feast together or exchanging gifts.

Light a Candle Tradition

Just like the spruce tree, lighting candles has also become one of the must-have during Christmas. The tradition to light a candle came from the ‘Lights Party’ done by the Jews. The party was held to show that the birth of Jesus as the light of the world. Lighting a candle during Christmas can also bring warmth, especially during winter.

In the middle of the century, lighting a candle on Christmas has become a norm for the Romans. Besides lighting a candle at home, a few churches also light large candles on the Christmas eve. The light from the Christmas candles is believed as a symbol of the birth of Jesus, which created meaning in living. Therefore, lighting candles on Christmas symbolized spirits, worship, and faith.

Christmas celebration in Indonesia

Christmas in Indonesia is celebrated in many different ways, without leaving the religious and cultural aspects of it. In Yogyakarta, Christmas is celebrated through wayang performance by the pastor or the priests. They will lead the mass wearing traditional Javanese costume, which will be followed by wayang performance telling the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.

In the most eastern Indonesia, Papua, Christmas is also celebrated widely. One of them is the stone burning celebration called Barapen. The stone that was put on fire would be used to cook pork meat. With religious songs serenaded at the back, Barapen is a particular way for Papuans to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.

Special meals for Christmas in Indonesia

Besides having a few unique traditions, Christmas celebration also brings special meals to the table. For example, Manadonese in Sulawesi province always serves ayam rica-rica, which are cooked with red chili, resulting in the dish to be dominantly red, creating a harmony with the Christmas decoration. In the other part of Sulawesi, people in Makassar will serve ayam budu-budu, a chicken dish cooked with lime, tamarind, ginger, and spring onions.

Aside from the main course, people in Ambon serve Poporcis cake as a special dessert at Christmas. In a glimpse, this cake looks similar to a pancake, but it is made with yellow squash and flour mix as the key ingredients. In Tapanuli, the locals make Kue Lapet for Christmas. This pyramid-shaped cake is made with rice flour mixed with shaved coconuts and wrapped in banana leaves.

Preparing everything for Christmas has to be done correctly, and carefully. Especially for ones who live far away from family and need to go back home during this period. It is better for you to buy your tickets way in advance to get the best price and avoid buying tickets at the last minute because you might not even get one.

In Traveloka, you can book your ticket quickly, and affordable. With one mobile app, you can pick your destination and your travel dates easier. There are many discount vouchers available to use during check out before payment. After that, purchase your bookings easily through bank transfer, credit cards, or pay at your nearest convenience stores. Easy, isn’t it?

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