The 17th of August marks the date in 1945 when Indonesia was declared independent from the Netherlands. If you are visiting Indonesia over this time you will find the day is full of festivities and celebrations. The preparations for Hari Merdeka begin well in advance. Indonesia becomes very patriotic and you will see the red and white colours of the Indonesian flag featured prominently.
A flag hoisting ceremony takes place at the National Palace and is considered a show of the greatest respect and honour for the flag and for the Republic. Locally, neighbourhoods prepare fun games for the kids such as sack races, kerupuk-eating, eel-catching, dancing with balloons and tug-of-war. Each province has their own traditional games. The winner of every game wins a prize, such as books, stationaries, food and drinks, or luxurious things like bikes, motorcycles or televisions which are sponsored by companies.
As a visitor to Bali you are always welcome to join in the neighbourhood activities. Don’t hesitate to join in the fun and spend time getting to know the friendly locals!