Pesta Budaya Tabuik

20 Sep 2017 - 1 Oct 2017
Pariaman, Sumatra

Party in Pariaman with the locals at the annual Pesta Budaya Tabiuik, one of Sumatra's biggest annual events which is sure to throw you into Indo-Muslim culture.

  • When? 20 September - 1 October 2017
  • Where? Pariaman, Sumatra
  • Price: Free

Sumatrans sure know how to throw a party. For this ten day celebration, you'll need all your energy (and your dancing shoes) if you're going to fit in with the locals.

The annual Pesta Budaya Tabuik ceremony is one of the biggest events in Sumatra. Held to commemorate the massacre of Prophet Muhammad's descendants Husaain and Hasan in the Battle of Karbalā, the tabuik procession is one-of-a-kind. 

Locals, tourists and government officials gather on the streets of Pariaman every year to watch the spectacular parade on the tenth Muharram of the Islamic calendar.

The ten-day event is meticulously planned with different rituals taking place each day, complying with strict religious requirements. From day one to four, locals prepare the items for the parade. On the fifth day, important rituals take place such as mamancang batang pisang (the cutting of the banana stalk), followed by a smaller parade on the sixth day. 

Finally on the tenth day, the community fills the streets to watch the grand parade where the 'tabuik', a manifestation of the Remembrance of Muharram, leaves the Pariaman market and is taken round the main streets of the town, before it reaches its final destination on the beaches of Pariaman. It is then thrown in the sea to symbolise Hasan and Husain's journey to heaven. 

The preparations on the tenth day begin at 6 a.m. with the parade starting at 9 a.m, so be sure to get an early night the day before to ensure you don't miss any of the celebrations. 

The spirit and passion of the Muslim people in Sumatra is certainly captured at this event. If you're a traveller who loves to experience the culture and customs of a place, this is one event you should definitely put on your to-do list if you visit West Sumatra. 

What's more, there are traditional markets set up for the duration of the event so you'll be able to fill up on local delicacies such as ayam bakar (char-grilled chicken) and rendang (spicy meat) while you watch the procession. 

Wear light clothes and comfy shoes though as all that marching and dancing will wear you out (maybe the flip flops are best left at the hotel for this one).

  • Get there: Pariaman is a city in West Sumatra, the closest airport is Minangkabau International Airport.
  • Stay: Find a hotel in Pariaman to be close to the action for the ten-day celebration.

*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!