Waisak Day The Hushed Day of Quiet Meditation

Indonesia is a land that is complete with many colourful aspects of life that are brought forth by the traditions and culture of varying origins and ethnic groups. Diversity flourishes here in beautiful degrees and festivities are held here of different religious backgrounds, making this country an ideal place to visit indeed.

The Buddhist population that lives in Indonesia celebrates in great reverence and honour the day that marks the birth, enlightenment and the death of Buddha Siddharta Gautama, the day of Waisak. This day is indeed prominent to the Buddhists scattered

A festival that is predominantly centred on meditation and goodwill, on the day of Waisak many Buddhists from all over the country gather in Borobudur to bask in the reverent wonder of this sacred day. A series of Buddhist organizers in the country have taken the lead to take turns in organizing the festivities of the day that include a procession of over 15000 devotees from Mendut temple to Pawon temple from where the procession reaches the Borobudur. The essence of the festivities is always constant with due respect and attention given to meditation and reverie, while colour and happiness is brought forth by many lights of festivity and delicious food. The many thousands that gather here on the day of Waisak, in unison chant mantras and meditate in silence to honour of the founder of their belief. The silence that follows the chanting of mantras is indeed overwhelming and intense, making it an experience truly wonderful indeed.

If you visit Jakarta in time for the festival of Waisak, you may also partake in this beautiful celebration. A 5 Star hotel Jakarta such as Keraton at The Plaza, Jakarta will treat you to ultimate bliss and sheer indulgence while you find pleasure in the hushed hour of quiet meditation of this day. A hotel in Jakarta such as this will also help you to reach the religiously prominent temples in the area in which celebrations do take place, so you will be able to breathe in the culture and the tradition of the lovely people of Indonesia.

Jayani Senanayake is a writer who dabbles in travel and all things exotic. Under the pseudonym of Caliope Sage, she writes of the allures that must simply be discovered.


A Festival of Colours – Temple Celebrations in Bali

The Balinese temples host an ‘Odalan’, every 210 days, on the day of the birth of the temple. It is a sanctimonious affair in which Hindus honour the Hindu gods by decorating the shrines. Tourists will enjoy experiencing the rich culture of Indonesia if they were to participate in the temple celebrations. Usually temple celebrations span over three days and the system used to calculate the day of the ceremony is the Full Moon calendar.

Since the ceremony is a tribute to Hindu gods all of the shrines are decorated for this event. The Hindu gods’ figurines are adorned with colourful pieces of cloth and gold coins. In front of the shrine, depending on which gods are being worshipped, there will be black, red or white umbrellas. Besides the umbrellas they place tridents, spears and other weapons. ‘Umbul Umbul’ flags placed on long bamboo poles are another addition to the décor and these flags are accompanied with ornaments made from coconut leaves and rice.

The featured aspect of this cultural occasion is the groups of young girls carrying arrangements of fruit and colourful cakes on their heads. The arrangements are generally very heavy, but the girls carry the load with grace as they walk in procession to the temple. Once the offerings are made to the gods the girls are blessed with holy water by the chief priest. The atmosphere surrounding these celebrations is truly magical as there are silver bells chiming, chanting of prayers and host of people dressed in colourful clothes.

If you want to experience the culture of Bali a temple celebration is the event to witness. There are so many temples in Bali that celebrate their anniversaries so there is bound to be an event you can participate in. Given that it is a holy festival tourists should be aware of some of the cultural codes that they need to follow. Always wear a sash and a sarong to the temple because it is a religious event and it is the only attire that is acceptable. Also keep in mind that you should avoid walking in front of those who are worshipping and try not to take too many pictures as it is somewhat disturbing for those who attend.

Visitors to Indonesia, who are eager to participate in one of the temple celebrations, can find accommodation at a Bali spa resort in the vicinity. A Bali luxury spa resort would be ideal because you can enjoy some invigorating body therapies while you stay in Indonesia. Check out COMO Shambhala Estate Bali, their massage therapies and beauty treatments are unlike any other.

Nigel Walters is a travel writer, who writes under the pen name, Fritzjames Stephen. His content is based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.Google+

Nyepi Festival, a fervent celebration

The Indonesian festival of Nyepi or traditional New Year is celebrated primarily in the exotic island of Bali. It is primarily a Hindu festivity but non-Hindus conform to the traditional customs as a show of respect for their fellow residents.

Festive customs commence two days before the advent of the new year. On this date many hundreds of persons from each of the villages transport artefacts from temples to the beaches so that they can be ritually purified. People attire themselves in vibrantly coloured clothes and make their way to cheerful processions beginning from the early hours of the morning. Women will carry heaped offerings of prepared rice, fruits and other food on their heads whilst men carry a lengthy sheet of white and yellow cloth which symbolizes God’s Bridge.

On the day prior to Nyepi a number of customs are observed. Villages are cleaned in their entirety, enough food is prepared for two whole days and in the festive evening hours a great deal of noise is intentionally made so as to frighten away demons. Pans and pots are banged, frightening sounds are made and rice is sprinkled on the roads and alleyways. Interestingly effigies of demons and monsters made from papier-mache, cloth and bamboo are carried in procession through the village streets. These demonic figures represent evil and the procession symbolizes the defeat of the forces of evil.

However on the actual day of Nyepi the observances are entirely different. Unlike in other parts of the world where the new year is heralded with revelry and fireworks, in Bali local residents observe a 24 hour abstinence from all physical and worldly activities. Hindus are required to forego the lighting of fires and lights, working, leisure activities and travelling.

After the conclusion of this day of forbearance, the day of Ngembak Geni begins. On this day Balinese go out of their homes to greet friends and relatives, asking for forgiveness for mistakes made in the past. Visitors to Bali will be able to observe these fascinating observances.

Travellers who seek a fine Bali resort will be pleased by the Anantara Seminyak Bali. This fine resort in Bali offers comfortable accommodations and courteous hospitality.

Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday.


Upcoming Festivals in Indonesia – a unique blend of culture and colour

Indonesia is undoubtedly a top-notch destination in terms of culture, outdoor activities and holiday retreats that one would always want to be a part of. The festivals and events play a major role in showcasing the country’s rich cultural influences of which some go back in time. If one is searching for luxury hotels, Indonesia affords plenty of opportunities to select one that will suit your budget. Starwood Indonesia which features amongst Indonesia 5 star hotels will entice you with a truly memorable experience that will give you the time and space to discover a host of all the upcoming festivals in the country.
October sees the ever popular and engaging Kuta Karnival Bali Food Festival which sees foodies the world over commune in Bali for a true taste of local delicacies. Be sure to head over in time so that you might exhibit your culinary skills too. This mega food event will witness lines of food stalls selling mouth-watering cuisine, a children’s playground, DJ music and a variety of other entertainment just to keep you going. The 3rd Indonesia Halal Expo 2013 is scheduled to be held at the Jakarta International Exhibition Centre from the 30th of October to the 2nd of November and showcase all the latest trends and innovations that have arisen in the Halal industry. The areas of culture and development will see the inaugural World Culture in Development Forum being held from 24th – 29th November 2013 in Bali. In addition to the conference that will see global leaders from over 40 countries in attendance, an Art Olympiad, Festival of Cultural Films and a People’s Carnival that is hoped to attract those from all countries of the world.


Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry. Google+

Christmas in Indonesia – A Memorable Seasonal Experience

Christmas is a time of joy and festivity, where loved ones all gather and celebrate. The season is magical, and the joy and the Christmas spirit can be seen and felt wherever you celebrate this wonderful time of the year. But if you are tired of Christmas being spent in the cold, it is time you experienced a beautiful ‘White Christmas.’ No, not a Christmas spent surrounded by white snow; a Christmas celebrated on the white sands of a tropical beach in Indonesia!

Although Christianity isn’t the primary religion in Indonesia, the locals know how to celebrate the season! During the month of December, the streets of the islands are decked out in lovely, twinkling fairy lights and hundreds of people take to the streets to watch carollers singing under these beautiful lights. Shopping malls all over the islands offer amazing shopping deals, making great shopping experience in Indonesia even greater! At most shopping centres, a man decked out in a red and white Santa Clause can be spotted standing cheerfully or handing out small gifts to children under a beautifully decorated Christmas tree.

Food and dining also play an important role in the celebration of Christmas in Indonesia, as seen with the locals, who all have various traditional meals that are cooked on Christmas day. If you are travelling in Indonesia during Christmas, most hotels organize elegant Christmas parties for their guests, offering Western and traditional food – such as ‘Dodol,’ an Indonesian treat, beautifully decorated trees and Christmas games for everyone to enjoy.

One can spend a more traditional Christmas within the walls of an Indonesia church, which can be found in some parts of the island. Christmas in Indonesia can also be celebrated on one of their beautifully pristine beaches. Whatever way you choose to celebrate your Christmas in Indonesia, it is almost guaranteed to be fun for all your loved ones.

To host your next family excursion in this vibrant archipelago, consider the Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resort as it is a prime offering of the luxury hotels Indonesia has to offer its visitors. This elite property is one of the finest Indonesia 5 star hotels on the market, and should make for a wonderful seasonal escape in the tropics.


Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday.


Thrilling Nightlife in Bali

Bali is renowned for its exciting nightlife and every visitor will find excitement and entertainment by sampling the many clubs, pubs and bars in Bali. However it is important to note that Bali’s nightspots only really come alive close to midnight. Around this time the entertainment starts to heat up, with pulsating music and revelry in the bars and clubs. Kuta and Sanur are the destinations with the greatest number of nightclubs and these are generally the most exciting.
The discerning traveller desiring Bali luxury villas will find an ideal rest in the Alila Villas Uluwatu. These outstanding Bali resort villas provide all the necessary comforts for a pleasurable holiday.