Independence Day (Indonesia)

Independence Day (Indonesian: Hari Kemerdekaan, colloquially known as Tujuhbelasan (the seventeenth) is a national holiday in Indonesia commemorating the anniversary of the Indonesia's Proclamation of Independence on 17 August 1945.[1] It was made a national holiday by then-President Sukarno in 1953.

Ceremonies and festive events are held throughout the country to celebrate this national day, including flag hoistings, local games and neighbourhood competitions, patriotic and cultural parades.[2] Discounts are offered by participating shopping centres or businesses.[3]

On this day, all Indonesian national televisions broadcast the National Independence Day Ceremony live from the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta. Televisions also often air Indonesian patriotic songs, nationalistic-themed films, advertisements, and talkshows.

Independence Day
Pengibaran Bendera Merah Putih, Peringatan Hari Proklamasi Kemerdekaan Indonesia
Flag hoisting ceremony
Official nameHari Kemerdekaan
Observed byIndonesians
SignificanceMarks the declaration of independence of Indonesia
Date17 August
Next time17 August 2020

The obligation to hoist the flag

Gapura 17 Agustus Rawasari
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 the National Flag, National Language, and State Symbols and National Anthem article 7 paragraph 3, obliges the flying of the Red and White flag for every Indonesian citizen in their homes, and also at public institutions, office buildings, educational institutions, public transportation facilities, and private transportation in the country, as well as Indonesian diplomatic offices abroad, on August 17.[4]

Flag hoisting ceremony

Upacara Bendera
National flag hoisting ceremony held in Merdeka Palace in Jakarta

A national formal flag hoisting ceremony is held at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, hosted by the current Indonesian President to reenact the declaration of independence proclaimed by Sukarno in 1945, held in 10.00 a.m, and is broadcast nationwide on radio and television. Certain distinguished guests and VVIPs are invited to attend, including ambassadors and diplomatic guests, former Indonesian presidents, vice presidents and ministers, prominent figures in Indonesian politics, the economy and business, cultural figures including artists and celebrities, and veterans. The declaration is read on this day in public by a representative of the legislative branch.

A national flag lowering ceremony is held later on in the afternoon at the grounds of the palace.

Tujuhbelasan celebrations

Panjat pinang
Panjat Pinang competition to celebrate the tujuhbelasan

Independence Day is an important public holiday in Indonesia, and is celebrated by Indonesian people in their cities and villages, and also abroad. Colloquially known as tujuhbelasan or 17-an which means "seventeenth" in Indonesian, it is a joyous celebration, as after the flag ceremony in the morning, in the afternoon people usually organise various games and competitions for children and adults.

Lomba 17-an 02
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 bursting
  • Balloon dance
  • Searching for coins in flour
  • Orange dance
  • Inserting thread into needle race
  • Colouring competition
  • Catching the eel race

Karnaval Kemerdekaan

Independence Day carnival Bantul
Independence parade carnival in Bantul, Yogyakarta

On Independence Day, parades or carnivals, take place on streets in cities and villages across the nation. They might take the form of a modest carnival, organized by local people, where children and sometimes adults wear patriotic clothes, or  traditional ethnic costumes. Some larger parades might be held and organised by provincial, regency or municipal governments, staged in main thoroughfares of cities.

The national main parade called does not usually take place on 17 August, but on the Sunday morning following the anniversary. The parade and carnival usually feature marching bands, decorative floats, patriotic parades and cultural carnivals featuring traditional costumes of various ethnic groups of Indonesia. They usually start in Merdeka Square by the National Monument, parading through capital main avenues; Thamrin and Sudirman avenues, passing Selamat Datang Monument and the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex.

In recent years however, the main national carnival has not been staged in the national capital, but in provinces with regional cities taking turns hosting this national event. In 2017, for example, the national independence carnival was 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 not held due to the 2018 Asian Games
2019 18 August Jakarta[7] TBA


Year Anniversary Theme
2005 60th Dengan Semangat Proklamasi 1945, Kita Perkokoh Persatuan Dan Kebersamaan Menuju Indonesia yang Aman, Adil, Demokratis, dan Sejahtera.
(With the Spirit of the 1945 Proclamation, We Strengthen Unity and Togetherness Towards a Safe, Fair, Democratic, and Prosperous Indonesia.)
2006 61st Dengan Semangat Proklamasi 17 Agustus 1945, Kita Tingkatkan Rasa Kebangsaan dan Kebersamaan untuk Membangun Indonesia yang Bersatu, Aman, Adil, Demokratis, dan Sejahtera.
(With the Spirit of the Proclamation of 17 August 1945, We Increase the Sense of Nationalism and Togetherness to Build a Unified, Safe, Fair, Democratic, and Prosperous Indonesia.)
2007 62nd Dengan Semangat Persatuan dan Etos Kerja, Kita Percepat Pertumbuhan Ekonomi dan Penanggulangan Kemiskinan untuk Mewujudkan Keadilan dan Kesejahteraan Bagi Rakyat Indonesia.
(With the Spirit of Unity and Work Ethics, We Accelerate Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction to Materialize the Justice and Prosperity for the Indonesian People.)
2008 63rd Dengan Semangat Proklamasi 17 Agustus 1945, Kita Lanjutkan Pembangunan Ekonomi Menuju Peningkatan Kesejahteraan Rakyat, serta Kita Perkuat Ketahanan Nasional Menghadapi Tantangan Global.
(With the Spirit of the Proclamation of 17 August 1945, We Resume Economic Development Towards the Enhancement of People's Welfare, and We Strengthen National Resilience in Facing Global Challenges.)
2009 64th Dengan Semangat Proklamasi 17 Agustus 1945, Kita Tingkatkan Kedewasaan Kehidupan Berpolitik dan Berdemokrasi serta Percepatan Pemulihan Ekonomi Nasional Menuju Indonesia yang Bersatu, Aman, Adil, Demokratis, dan Sejahtera.
(With the Spirit of the Proclamation of 17 August 1945, We Increase Maturity in Political and Democratic Lives and Acceleration of National Economic Recovery Towards a Unified, Safe, Fair, Democratic, and Prosperous Indonesia.)
2010 65th Dengan Semangat Proklamasi 17 Agustus 1945, Kita Sukseskan Reformasi Gelombang Kedua, untuk Terwujudnya Kehidupan Berbangsa yang Makin Sejahtera, Makin Demokratis, dan Makin Berkeadilan.
(With the Spirit of the Proclamation of 17 August 1945, We Succeeds the Second Wave of Reformation, to Materialize a More Prosperous, More Democratic, and More Equitable National Life.)
2011 66th Dengan Semangat Proklamasi 17 Agustus 1945, Kita Tingkatkan Kesadaran Hidup dalam ke-Bhinneka-an untuk Kokohkan Persatuan NKRI, Kita Sukseskan Kepemimpinan Indonesia dalam Forum ASEAN untuk Kokohkan Solidaritas ASEAN.
(With the Spirit of the Proclamation of 17 August 1945, We Enhance Life Awareness in the Diversity to Strengthen the Unity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, We Succeed Indonesia's Leadership in the ASEAN Forum to Strengthen ASEAN Solidarity.)
2012 67th Dengan Semangat Proklamasi 17 Agustus 1945, Kita Bekerja Keras untuk Kemajuan Bersama, Kita Tingkatkan Pemerataan Hasil-hasil Pembangunan untuk Keadilan Sosial Bagi Seluruh Rakyat Indonesia.
(With the Spirit of the Proclamation of 17 August 1945, We Work Hard for Common Progress, We Improve Equitable Development Results for Social Justice for all of Indonesian People.)
2013 68th Mari Kita Jaga Stabilitas Politik dan Pertumbuhan Ekonomi Kita Guna Meningkatkan Kesejahteraan Rakyat
(Let's Keep Our Political Stability and Economic Growth to Improve People's Welfare)
2014 69th Dengan Semangat Proklamasi 17 Agustus 1945, Kita Dukung Suksesi Kepemimpinan Nasional Hasil Pemilu 2014 Demi Kelanjutan Pembangunan Menuju Indonesia yang Makin Maju dan Sejahtera.
(With the Spirit of the Proclamation of 17 August 1945, We Support the Succession of National Leadership (from the) Results of the 2014 Election for the Continuation of Development Towards a More Advanced and Prosperous Indonesia.)
2015 70th Ayo Kerja
(Let's Work)[8]
2016 71st Kerja Nyata
(Actual(ly) Work)[8]
2017 72nd Kerja Bersama
(Working Together)[8]
2018 73rd Kerja Kita Prestasi Bangsa
(Our Work, Achievement of the Nation)[8]
2019 74th SDM Unggul, Indonesia Maju (Superior Human Resources and SDGs, (makes) Indonesia Advances);
formerly Menuju Indonesia Unggul (Towards Superior Indonesia)[9]

See also


  1. ^ "Independence Day 2019 and 2020". Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  2. ^ Post, The Jakarta. "Jakartans celebrate Independence Day with parade". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  3. ^ "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". (in Indonesia). 2014-08-16. Retrieved 2019-04-04.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  5. ^ DH, Agung. "Karnaval Kemerdekaan Pesona Parahyangan Digelar 26 Agustus". (in Indonesian). Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  6. ^ Media, Kompas Cyber. "Siang Ini Karnaval Kemerdekaan Digelar di Bandung". (in Indonesian). Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  7. ^ "Kementerian Pariwisata RI | Karnaval Kemerdekaan/Grand Karnaval Indonesia" (in Indonesian). Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia. 2019-01-21. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  8. ^ a b c d Retia Kartika Dewi; Akbar Bhayu Tamtomo (23 July 2018). "Infografik: Logo Peringatan HUT RI di Era Pemerintahan Jokowi". (in Indonesian). Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  9. ^ Katriana (24 July 2019). "Tema HUT Ke-74 RI terinspirasi visi Presiden" (in Indonesian). Antara. Retrieved 3 August 2019.

External links


August is the eighth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars, and the fifth of seven months to have a length of 31 days. It was originally named Sextilis in Latin because it was the sixth month in the original ten-month Roman calendar under Romulus in 753 BC, with March being the first month of the year. About 700 BC, it became the eighth month when January and February were added to the year before March by King Numa Pompilius, who also gave it 29 days. Julius Caesar added two days when he created the Julian calendar in 46 BC (708 AUC), giving it its modern length of 31 days. In 8 BC, it was renamed in honor of Augustus. According to a Senatus consultum quoted by Macrobius, he chose this month because it was the time of several of his great triumphs, including the conquest of Egypt.In the Southern Hemisphere, August is the seasonal equivalent of February in the Northern Hemisphere. In many European countries, August is the holiday month for most workers. Numerous religious holidays occurred during August in ancient Rome.Certain meteor showers take place in August. The Kappa Cygnids take place in August, with the dates varying each year. The Alpha Capricornids meteor shower takes place as early as July 10 and ends at around August 10, and the Southern Delta Aquariids take place from mid-July to mid-August, with the peak usually around July 28–29. The Perseids, a major meteor shower, typically takes place between July 17 and August 24, with the days of the peak varying yearly. The star cluster of Messier 30 is best observed around August.

Among the aborigines of the Canary Islands, especially among the Guanches of Tenerife, the month of August received in the name of Beñesmer or Beñesmen, which was also the harvest festival held this month.



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