Christmas in Indonesia | Traditions and gastronomy

Christmas in Indonesia | Traditions and gastronomy

Christmas in Indonesia is a unique and vibrant celebration that reflects the country’s cultural diversity and religious landscape. Despite being a predominantly Muslim nation, Indonesia is home to a significant Christian population, and Christmas is widely observed and celebrated throughout the archipelago, of course also in Raja Ampat. The festive season brings together people of different religions, fostering a spirit of unity and joy that makes this an ideal time of year to organize a diving trip in Raja Ampat and celebrate an unforgettable New Year’s Eve in the paradise.

christmas in indonesia traditions raja ampat 2
One of the distinctive features of Christmas in Indonesia is the blending of local customs with Christian traditions. The celebration often begins in early December, marked by the decoration of homes, streets, and public spaces with colorful lights, ornaments, and Christmas trees.While many Indonesians do not have a tradition of setting up Christmas trees in their homes, the urban areas and shopping malls are adorned with elaborate displays that attract locals and tourists alike.
christmas in indonesia traditions raja ampat 4

Some of the most important Christmas traditions in Indonesia… and in Raja Ampat

The Christmas Eve midnight mass, known as “Misa Tengah Malam,” is a significant event for Christians in Indonesia. Churches are beautifully decorated, and the atmosphere is filled with joyous hymns and prayers. Families attend the mass together, and it is not uncommon for people of other faiths to join in the festivities as a sign of respect and solidarity. Gift-giving is a cherished tradition during Christmas in Indonesia, mirroring the global practice of exchanging presents. Families and friends exchange gifts as a symbol of love and goodwill. In urban areas, shopping centers are adorned with Christmas sales, and the exchange of gifts often extends to colleagues and neighbors. This act of giving is not only a way to express affection but also a means of reinforcing the spirit of togetherness and generosity. In some regions of Indonesia, particularly in areas with a strong Christian presence, communities engage in Christmas caroling. Groups of children and adults visit homes and public spaces, singing Christmas carols in a mix of Indonesian and English. This joyful tradition not only spreads the festive spirit but also serves as a means of raising funds for charitable causes.
christmas in indonesia traditions raja ampat

And are there any typical Christmas foods in Indonesia?

The culinary aspect of Christmas in Indonesia is a delightful fusion of local and Western influences. Traditional Indonesian dishes are prepared alongside Western Christmas treats, creating a diverse and mouth-watering array of festive delicacies. Special Christmas dinners and feasts are organized, bringing families and friends together to enjoy a scrumptious meal. Popular dishes include “rendang,” a flavorful beef stew, and various traditional cakes and sweets. In addition to these, international favorites like roast turkey and Christmas cookies find a place on the festive table.
christmas in indonesia traditions raja ampat 5

And now, the most important thing. How do we celebrate Christmas at Raja Ampat Biodiversity Resort?


We love celebrating Christmas with all the guests who have come to enjoy their diving experience in Indonesia during the Christmas period. 

The resort is full of Christmas decorations, and on 25th we add the traditional indonesian decorations which are young palm leaves. It loods great and is sustainable!

December 25, Christmas Day, we offer Special Lunch buffet, every year we try to change a bit the menu to offer nice variety and different flavours to our guest. In the afternoon we light a bonfire in the beach, and guest gather around the bar to enjoy the festivities, send Christmas wishes to family and friends all around the world.

Similar on New Years eve, we organise special buffet dinner, starting with some appetisers at 19.30, our guest start to arrive slowly to bar and restaurant area and at 20.30 we start with the special buffet full of tasty dishes. 

We light the bonfire after dinner, bar is open and special cocktails are available. We have fireworks every hour from 22.00 until midnight. I have to admit that not all our guest make it to midnight, since most of them wake up early to join our daily activities and are tired and go to rest before beginning of new Year.


Share this post

Raja Ampat Biodiversity Eco Resort is a place to connect with nature in one of the best diving and snorkeling destinations in the world!

Apart from the marine life that you can enjoy diving or snorkeling , Raja Ampat offers many other activities that will allow you to explore this spectacular part of the planet; kayaks, cultural visits to the villages, excursions in the jungle, visits to the small islands, enjoy the fauna and birds of the area (many of them endemic) …

In this blog we will share some of our adventures with you.

Related articles