Get Cultured in Lovely December 2017

Those who are residing in Toraja has the opportunity to experience the loveliest season in the year! Not only it's Christmas time when things get all merry, but this month welcomes the annual event of Lovely December. A local event in Toraja that has been running for 8 years, consisted of several events such as culinary, art, and culture festival, Christmas service, buffalo parades, creative economy exhibitions, and many many more! But why Lovely December?

Why Lovely December

Toraja is one of the colorful Indonesian tribes, yet rich in culture and heritage. One of the fast growing culture being widely known among nations with many deep potentials that need to be maintain. From the phenomenal funeral ceremonies, variety of Toraja traditional houses, burial sites from caves, stones, and cliff, and many more! What highlights these is the fact Torajenese zealously still practice the heritage and mores as their regimen. The ingrained heritage is a ivotal, living heritage, not just some memorials. Combining the beautiful tropical landscapes of mountains and lush rice paddies, with amazing valleys and rivers flowing.

Herein, as a deep appreciation to Torajanese cultural and natural heritage, the government of Toraja Regency operates a yearly program to develop local tourism industry where the widely known traditions remains expanding and yet introducing the hidden potentials to become widely known by the local and international society. Hence, Lovely December was born.

Lantang-karampuan, the Torajanese term as seating stage for guests,

overlooking the main stage and square in Rantepao Bakti Square.

Main stage in Rantepao Bakti Square.

A 40-meters bamboo structured Christmas tree being constructed,

breaking the Guiness World Records as the highest bamboo made Christmas tree.

Why You Should Participate in Lovely December 2017!

1. Famous guests

Last year, Tana Toraja regency hosted the Lovely December 2016. This year, North Toraja regency is hosting the Lovely December 2017. From year to year, the visitors will grow rapidly during this season. Moreover, Toraja will be the host for National Christmas 2017, where national government officials will attend the Christmas service and celebration in Toraja, this includes our national president Mr. Joko Widodo!

Along with that, there will be Governor, Mayor, and Regent of South Sulawesi and many more. Other international honorary guests are planned to attend Lovely December are Prime Minister of Malaysia and former President of United States, Bill Clinton.

They also have entertaining guests, from international and national celebrities and chefs to coffee master all around the corner will feast your eyes in this event. The committees target the audience would be approximately 400,000 visitors!

2. Exciting festivals and shows

Lovely December wouldn't just set its highlight on cultural and traditional heritage of Toraja, but they would like to explore and develop the mind of Torajanese modern society nowadays. Whether it's discussing about the modern creative industries, culinary, sports, etc. What are your preferences?

- Opening ceremony

December 9, 2017

Venue: Rantepo Bakti Square In this session, the local committee will explain you about rundowns and technical details throughout events in Lovely December 2017. You can see how locals play in Torajanese opera, opening ceremony, musical drama, and opening concert by singer from Indonesian Idol. The event will take place from 7 pm, it's going to be bright will colorful spotlights!

- Traditional culinary festivals

December 14-16, 2017

Venue: Rantepao Bakti Square

Famous Indonesian Chefs of Agar Payung, Yohanes Palonda, Arya Kristian Lande will hold culinary workshop that demonstrates the right use of Toraja authentic ingredients. Not just the chefs, but locals will also participate in the cooking competition and food exhibition. Moreover, they're also having that kind of swinging and comfort afternoon by the sound of ethnic music and dance performances. Sounds exciting, doesn't it? Get your art and taste buds ready!

- Paragliding Shows

December 18-20, 2017

Venue: Lolai 'Land Above The Cloud'

Do you like the rush-adrenaline of jumping off from high altitude? Perhaps you have done paragliding, but this time, licensed proffesional pilots will show their way of paraglide in exploring the rich landscape of great valleys and mountains in Lolai.- Folklore dances festival (December 20-21, 2017)

- Folklore Theatre

December 14-16, 2017

Venue: Rantepao Bakti Square (main stage) From tribes of villages in Toraja, from Lakipadada to Pong Mula Tau as the first man in Toraja, they're putting authentic shows which display ancient values among society, giving you evolutional insight from time to time how globalization plays an important role making Toraja today.

- Creative Industry Expo

December 21-23, 2017

Venue: Rantepao Bakti Square With the vast growth of tourism industries, Toraja houses many home industry and growing start-up that explore local products of arts and crafts, such as Torajanese woven-cloth, hand-made souvernirs, coffee, carved arts, paintings, and on! Bekraf, the Body of Creative Industries will give workshops on how to market and develop the products of creative industries in Toraja. Let's join in!

- Christmas Choir Group Competition

December 22-23, 2017

Venue: Rantepao Bakti Square (main stage) Who's up for singing contest? Many groups from schools, universities, govermental officials, local churches will compete each others by singing songs about the beautiful Toraja, romance, and Christmas. Let the melodious voice allure your heart and mind!

- Coffee Festival

December 27-29, 2017

Venue: Antonie Aris van de Loosdrecht building Arabica? Minanga? Sapan? They're putting best of the best coffee in the Coffee Expo, best local barista giving out workshops to broaden your technical knowledge about processing coffee. At one time, our national president with 10,000 people will drink Torajanese coffee with bamboo cups, breaking the MURI record!

- Ringroad Christmas Adventure Toraya 100

December 27-28, 2017

A yearly program from "Toraya 100" community to boost the construction of ring road connecting both regencies of Tana Toraja and North Toraja. Aside from that, this program gathers the solidarity of locals' opinions and discussions between members of the community and governments. With 100 cars from the community, governments, and other participants going for a rally from BPS Gereja Toraja in Rantepao - Pangala' - Kurra - Ulusalu on December 27. Then they continue the trip to Buakayu - Christmas in Ollon - Makale as the finish point on December 28.

- Christmas Service (Non-denomination)

December 27, 2017 (18.30 WITA)

Venue: Rantepao Bakti Square

As many Torajanese from across Indonesia or abroad are coming back to Toraja land this December, the Lovely December will also hold a Christmas service where churches from many denominations take part to serve the congregation. It will be jam-packed, so make sure you arrived earlier.

- Buffalo Contest and Festival

December 28, 2017

Venue: Rantepao Bakti Square

Saleko, Balian, Pudu' buffalos are on the show! These sacred animals have their core value in Torajanese society! You may only see them in funerals and Bolu market, but they will bring one of the rarest and best buffalo in Toraja in this contest.

- Culture Carnaval

December 28, 2017

Venue: Rantepao Bakti Square

Tribes of Torajanese, Bugis, Makassar, Mandar are going to be put in display! You will see the men dancing, women walking with their extravagant traditional clothing, folk music playing out loud.

- Torajanese Arts and Cultural Festival

December 28-29, 2017

Venue: Rantepao Bakti Square

Not your ordinary school shows, but the festival will be choreograph by the world-class maestro and directed by the maestro of Toraja art and cultural. Locality blends altogether with professional experience! Don't miss Ma'nene' ritual, where the family takes out the dead body of their relative and changes the clothes as a show of respect and honor. They will have the widely known funeral ceremony of Rambu Solo' ritual.

- Closing and Fireworks Ceremony

December 30, 2017

Venue: Rantepao Bakti Square

Time to put Lovely December 2017 in great closure, when music concert by Indonesian Idol, closing speech and fireworks part will jazz up the whole lovely night!

See? You wouldn't be bored throughout the programs of Lovely December 2017!

3. Loveliest Weather of the Year!

Even though Tana Toraja and North Toraja lay between mountains, it's usually hot and humid during dry season, not to mention about the sun being harsh during the day. When the date hit December, the morning time is usually sunny yet windy and sometimes cloudy. The evening to night time is usually cool and sometimes it showers. The weather supports you to walk around the city by feet, without being sun burnt like times in dry season.

After reading the whole shows, we're sure you wouldn't miss this Lovely December 2017! You will see so much of Toraja and Sulawesi culture and culinary. We would like to remind you that Rantepao will be jam-packed with cars and visitors during December. Make sure you book accommodation in advance, if the homestays and hotels are full-booked, you can always go for Airbnb. Many locals have spread their hospitality business on Airbnb, you will see some great offers.

Still couldn't find accommodation? You can contact TOSA for helps!

This December 2017 is going to be the loveliest month in Toraja!


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