Must-See Events on Lake Toba

Attending cultural and local events are the best way to enjoy and understand the life of a population. Many things are happening on Lake Toba. We have hand-picked the most celebrated festivals for you. Get to know what they are below.

Samosir Art and Culture, June 18-20, 2018

Samosir has the unique culture with a variety of exciting arts. They range from dance, music, craft, literary, to fine arts. Several activities take place within the two-day event, which includes vocal group festivals, traditional culinary festivals, doll competitions, and the tor-tor dancing. Finally, there will be evening entertainment by local artists. See more.

Sigale-Gale Carnival, June 20, 2018

Sigale-gale carnival is a wooden puppet performing arts tradition in Pangururan village on Samosir. Participants represent the various Batak tribes (such as Toba, Pakpak, Simalungun, etc.) Hundreds of students and residents participate in the program by wearing the Sigale-gale costume and performing the cup dance. There are also Batak fashion shows, martial arts called “Pencak,” and a parade of ornamental cars designed in the Batak motif. See more.

Samosir Eco Sports Tourism, July 1-7, 2018

Samosir Eco Sports 2018 will feature Solu Bolon, kayak, and beach volleyball competitions. The event organizer offers decent prizes totaling US$ 15,000 (or Rp 200 million, a significant amount in local currency) to attract the participants. The Solon Bolon competition comes in 2 categories, i.e., ten rowers and twenty rowers. The kayaking competition offers single and double classes. The beach volleyball also has groups for students, youngsters, and ladies. See more.

Horja Bius Mangalahat Horbo, July 6-7, 2018

Horja Bius Mangalahat Horbo is a series of ritual that involves buffaloes. Horbo (buffalo) is the symbol of gods in the ancient Batak life. The ritual has many forms, most of which are now presented as entertainment only rather than actual worship. They include Ulaon Hahomion, Marhata Maraja, Tortor Tunggal Panaluan, Pangurason, Pajongjong Borotan, Mangkarikkiri Horbo, and Manullang Horbo. Join hundreds of residents and visitors who come from various regions to see the event. See more.

Samosir Music International, August 25, 2018

Samosir Music International showcases the performance of Batak artists with international exposure in collaboration with their western counterparts. Their work will hypnotize tens of thousands of spectators. One of the singers from Europe who participated in the past was Nadine Beiler. Beiler is an Austrian professional singer who is famous in the R&B and pop genre. The previous year’s event also featured a duet of Austrian artist Hermann Delago with Batak musician Viky Paulus Sianipar, and performance of local musicians. See more.

GFNY Championship Asia, September 2, 2018

GFNY is a global cycling brand that is also coming to Samosir. The island gets chosen as a host because of its unique terrain and the beautiful scenery.  There are climbing routes, bends, and straight paths to pass through. Their difficulty depends on the physical ability of cyclists. But what’s more interesting about Samosir is the incredible view, a volcano whose crater turned into a lake. GFNY Indonesia is targeting 2,000 participants from all over the world in the bike championship. See more.

Samosir Lake Toba Ultra Marathon, September 21-22, 2018

Samosir Lake Toba Ultra Marathon is the most prestigious marathon in Indonesia and a part of the Wonderful Indonesia Tour. The race will be in the categories of 5 km, 10 km, 25 km and 50 km. Each group goes through many traditional villages, past the beauty of island ancient places, and by some of the most beautiful and stunning scenes in Indonesia. See more.

Samosir Jazz Season, October 27, 2018

Samosir Jazz Season is the tourism event to attract the musicians and connoisseurs of jazz music to perform in the season as well as to promote the beautiful panorama of Lake Toba. With the blend of jazz beat that feels so alive and jolting, coupled with the natural beauty of Lake Toba and combined with existing local culture, the event is a must-see on Samosir Island. See more.

Festival Sipinggan, December 28, 2018

Sipinggan is the name of a village on Samosir. It treasures unique culture that other parts of the region do not. The tradition of this village will feature the year-end festival. Event run-down and other details are not yet available. Based on last year’s experience, however, the main activities of the participants are dancing, parading, and singing local songs. A unique type of Sigale-gale also features the event. See more.

Samosir Christmas Season, December 29-30, 2018

Christmas is a special event on Samosir, the island known as home to Christians. There are more activities than worshiping and celebration. They include a fashion show contest, a Christmas song contest, a Christmas tree decorating competition, a coloring contest, a photo moment contest, a vocal group competition, and a Christmas carnival. See more.

Sigale-Gale Dance, Daily 10.30 am

Tomok presents the Sigale-gale dance every day at 10.30 am, assuming enough tourists show up. A sculpture made of wood that resembles a human being features the traditional dance. According to the legend, the doll originated from the story of a king in Samosir who lost his only son and heir apparent due to his death. The king had been in deep sorrow for a long time before he fell sick. He received various treatments, but none was successful. Then some king’s advisers made a wooden statue that resembled his son. After the figure was ready, the advisers then performed several ceremonies including the calling of the spirit of the son to get into Sigale Gale, the statue. He danced for his father and made the king happy and recover. See more.

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See Tentative Calendar of Events for 2018.