Entering the month of August, you will probably notice the sudden splash of red and white displayed everywhere especially in the street. Formally, Indonesians usually celebrates the Independence Day the 17 august by doing flag ceremonies in schools and offices.  After the flag ceremonies, in some province the more informal celebrations start with carnival or parade. There will be so many people gathering with their unique costume and their creativity, they are mobilizing hundreds of performances and thousands of viewers as they process through City Street, concentrate the festive mood through spectacular display. Not only that, even the kindergarten children on decorated bikes, marching bands, and costume party with traditional themes.

A few weeks before National Day, people are bustling preparing for the celebration, games and festivities. Everyone volunteers to clean up the neighborhood and help coordinate a series of fun activities for children and adults. In some areas, the head of the neighborhood or community, Pak RT will even hold an open dinner followed by games and karaoke for adults.



Panjat Pinang (Areca Tree Pole Climbing)

The first one is the epic panjat pinang. Panjat Pinang has been one of the most iconic activities in the celebration of Indonesian Independence Day. A slender, straight and slippery pinang palm tree is the perfect pole for this race. On top of the pole, the prizes are hung to lure participants to reach and grab them. Those who arrive at the top win prizes: bike, clothes, etc. Very hard game !

The meaning of this game is to remind Indonesians of the effort to get the freedom from colonialism.


Lomba Makan Kerupuk (Cracker Eating Competition)

In this challenge, the kerupuk will be tied on a rope and hung up in front of the participants. The challenge is to finish up the kerupuk as fast as possible without using both hands. The winner is the one who can finish the kerupuk first.

The meaning of this game is to remind Indonesian of the hard time they lived in poverty during the colonial period.



Lomba Balap Karung (Goni Sack Race)

This game it quite unique too because participants will bound to fall several times in funny way before they reach the finish line. The rule of the game is simple. Using sack, participants must jump their way to reach the finish line. The first one reaching the finish line will be the winner.

The meaning of this game is to remind us of the importance of perseverance as well as the efforts to gain independence. Also that in life we fall but we have to get up and continue to fight to achieve our goals.


Tarik Tambang (Rope Pull)

Locally known as tarik tambang, this game is played by two teams (2-10 person). Both teams are required to hold each end of the rope, with it’s center point marked with a flag. Lines are drawn in the center of the court, and when the referee shouts “start!”, the pulling race began to test each side’s strength and perseverance. Whomever crosses the center court lines, lose!

The meaning of this game is learn the sense of unity, by working together we can success.




There are still many other traditional games and challenges that can be enjoyed during the National Day. Lets check it out!

Eel Race

They have to take eels in a bucket and run to put them in a bottle at the finish point. Whoever has the most eels in the bottle wins! Eel really slips !

Insert the Nail into the Bottle

A long string attached to the waist and with a nail at the end. They have to insert the nail into the bottle. Who can do it first, wins !!!

Get the Coin from the Melon

A melon (sometime they used a coconut also) covered with chocolate or other, with coins sticked on it. Aim: to remove coins as much as possible with the teeth, hands in the back, the one who removes many coins wins!

Marble Spoon Race

This game often played for the children. the rules is whoever arrives at the arrival point with the ball still in the spoon wins!


It is a great and fun experience for all, not only the locals but also for foreigners.  If you happen to be in Indonesia during that day, don’t be hesitate to join the festivities and see how many prizes you can win that day. All the game has the same meaning for Indonesian, when they do the game they can gather around, know everybody, being sportive, and it will make the situation more harmonious, game make us being united right?

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