Hari Kemerdekaan

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Hari Kemerdekaan
(Independence Day)
Pengibaran Bendera Merah Putih, Peringatan Hari Proklamasi Kemerdekaan Indonesia.jpg
Flag hoisting ceremony is performed across the nation to commemorate Indonesian independence
Official nameHari Kemerdekaan Republik Indonesia
Also calledTujuhbelasan (the seventeenth)
Observed byIndonesians
SignificanceMarks the independence of the Republic of Indonesia
Date17 August
Next time17 August 2019 (2019-08-17)

Hari Kemerdekaan (Indonesian for: "Independence Day", complete: Hari Kemerdekaan RI[i], colloquial: Tujuhbelasan[ii]) is a national holiday in Indonesia commemorating the Proclamation of Independence of Indonesia on 17 August 1945.[1]

Several ceremonies and festive events were held throughout the country to celebrate this national day; including flag hoisting ceremony, local games and competitions held in the neighbourhood, patriotic and cultural parades,[2] and also discounts offered by participating shopping centres or businesses.[3]

During this day, most of Indonesian televisions were broadcasting the National Independence Day Ceremony live, held in Merdeka Palace in the capital. Televisions were also often airing Indonesian patriotic songs, nationalistic-themed films, advertising and talkshows.

The obligation to hoist the flag[edit]

The gapura gate in residential area in Jakarta, decorated in patriotic colors to commemorate independence day

Republic of Indonesia Law Number 24 of 2009 concerning National Flag, National Language, and State Symbols and National Anthem article 7 paragraph 3, regulates the obligation to raise the Red and White flag for every Indonesian citizen in their households, public institutions, office buildings, educational institutions, public transportations, and private transportation in the country, as well as Indonesian diplomatic offices abroad, on August 17.[4] However, every households usually already raised the Indonesian national flag several days prior the 17th of August, some weeks earlier, or encouraged to raise the flag throughout the month of August. Citizen usually raised the national flag using modest bamboo pole by the fences in front of their homes.

During this month neighbourhood is usually festively decorated with rows of small flags or traditional umbul-umbul banner in national colors of red and white. Also the entrance into the kampung, residence compounds, street or alleys are adorned with gapura gate, usually made from plywood, painted and decorated with nationalistic themes.

Upacara Bendera flag hoisting ceremony[edit]

National flag hoisting ceremony held in Merdeka Palace in Jakarta

A national formal flag hoisting ceremony is held in Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, hosted by the current Indonesian President, reenact the declaration of independence proclaimed by Sukarno and Hatta back in 1945, held in 10.00 a.m. in the morning. Certain distinguished guests and VVIPs were invited to attend this prestigious national ceremony in Merdeka Palace; including ambassadors and diplomatic guests, former Indonesian presidents, vice presidents and ministers, prominent figures in Indonesian politics, economy and business, cultural figures including artists and celebrities, also veterans.

Other than this certain prestigious national ceremony held in the national capital hosted by the president; every government institutions and offices, educational institutions (i.e. schools, universities), also some private offices, may held their own flag hoisting ceremonies in their offices to commemorate the national independence day, about the same time at 10.00 a.m. in the morning.

Tujuhbelasan celebrations[edit]

Panjat Pinang competition to celebrate the tujuhbelasan

The Hari Kemerdekaan is an important public holiday in Indonesia, and expected to be celebrated by the whole of Indonesian people locally in their cities and villages, also abroad. Colloquially called by locals as tujuhbelasan or 17-an which means "seventeenth" in Indonesian, it is a joyous celebrations, as after the flag ceremony in the morning, in the afternoon locals usually held various games and competitions for children and adults alike in their neighbourhood.

Children participating in competition to celebrate the tujuhbelasan

Traditional games and competition usually held during tujuhbelasan are:

  • Krupuk-eating race
  • Panjat pinang (climbing greasy pole of pinang tree)
  • Marble in spoon race
  • Gunny sack race
  • Bottle fishing
  • Wooden clog race
  • Musical Chair or fight over seats
  • Tug of war
  • Coin biting
  • Pillow fight
  • Hitting the kendi terracotta jar blindfolded, similar with piñata
  • Slow bicycling
  • Balloon breaking
  • Balloon dance
  • Searching for coins in flour
  • Orange dance
  • Inserting thread into needle race
  • Colouring competition
  • Catching the eel race

Karnaval Kemerdekaan[edit]

Independence parade carnival in Bantul, Yogyakarta

During Independence Day, several parades or carnivals, were took place on avenues or streets in the cities or villages across the nation. They might took form as modest carnival, organised by local community, where children and sometimes adult sporting patriotic cosplay, cultural parade such as wearing baju adat or traditional ethnics costumes, and also decorative bicycles usually performed by children. Some larger parade might be held and organised by provincial, regency or municipal government, staged in main avenue of the city.

The national main parade called Karnaval Kemerdekaan however, is usually does not took place in 17th of August, but in the next Sunday morning after the independence day. The parade and carnival usually featuring marching bands, decorative floats, patriotic parade and cultural carnival featuring traditional costumes of various ethnic groups of Indonesia. They usually started in Merdeka Square by the National Monument, parading through capital main avenues; Thamrin and Sudirman avenues, passing Selamat Datang Monument and Gelora Bung Karno Stadium complex.

In recent years however, the main national Karnaval Kemerdekaan were not staged in national capital, but distributed to provinces with regional cities took turns on hosting this national event. In 2017 for example, the national independence carnival were staged in Bandung, West Java.[5]

Year Date Location Theme
2015 22 August Pontianak Hutan
2016 21 August Danau Toba Air
2017 26 August Bandung[6] Pegunungan dan Kota
(Mountain and City)
2018 8 July Jakarta[7] Asian Games Spirit[iii]


Year Edition Theme
2015 70th Ayo Kerja
(Let's Work)[8]
2016 71th Indonesia Kerja Nyata
(Real Work of Indonesia)[8]
2017 72th Indonesia Kerja Bersama
(Indonesians Working Together)[8]
2018 73th Kerja Kita Prestasi Bangsa
(Our Work, Achievement of the Nation)[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ RI stands for Republik Indonesia.
  2. ^ Indonesian for: "seventeenth".
  3. ^ The Carnival was performed a month earlier in July and merged with Asian Games Carnival in Jakarta, since the event was held in the same time with Asian Games 2018.


  1. ^ "Independence Day 2019 and 2020". PublicHolidays.co.id. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  2. ^ Post, The Jakarta. "Jakartans celebrate Independence Day with parade". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  3. ^ Post, The Jakarta. "Big discounts offered to commemorate Independence Day". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  4. ^ "Merah Putih Wajib Dikibarkan Di Setiap Rumah pada Hari Kemerdekaan". hukumonline.com (in Indonesia). 2014-08-16. Retrieved 2019-04-04.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  5. ^ DH, Agung. "Karnaval Kemerdekaan Pesona Parahyangan Digelar 26 Agustus". tirto.id (in Indonesian). Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  6. ^ Media, Kompas Cyber. "Siang Ini Karnaval Kemerdekaan Digelar di Bandung". KOMPAS.com (in Indonesian). Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  7. ^ Wijanarko, Tulus (2018-07-02). "Sambut Asian Games, Jakarta Segera Gelar Karnaval Budaya". Tempo. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  8. ^ a b c d Media, Kompas Cyber. "Infografik: Logo Peringatan HUT RI di Era Pemerintahan Jokowi". KOMPAS.com (in Indonesian). Retrieved 2019-04-05.

External links[edit]