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 events are happening on Lake Toba. Get to know what they are below.

Pasir Putih Festival, March 31, 2018

The Pasir Putih (White Sand) Festival is a ritual and cultural event on Samosir. It features various entertaining and exciting races representing the Toba Batak custom in the past, such as Martonggo Raja. The agenda begins with lake draining, which is a symbolic cleansing and purification practice to respect the environment. It continues with running and other competitions, dancing, singing, and other cultural performances. See more.

Gondang Naposo Festival, April 27-28, 2018

The Gondang Naposo Festival is a place to find a mate for youngsters who have obtained the blessings of their parents. It’s a unique Batak ethnic ritual used as a medium of introductory as well as advanced talks between matured boys and girls as a way to step into the marriage. In addition to the matchmaking event, there are also performances by dance studios from Samosir, Dairi, North Tapanuli, Toba Samosir, Pematangsiantar, Medan, and others. See more.

Samosir Art and Culture, June 18-20, 2018

Samosir has unique culture with a variety of interesting 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 local residents participate in the program by wearing the Sigale-gale costume and performing the cup dance. The are also a Batak fashion show, martial arts called “pencak”, and a parade of ornamental cars designed in Batak motif. See more.

Samosir Eco Sport Tourism, July 1-7, 2018

Samosir Eco Sport 2018 will feature Solu Bolon, kayak, and beach volleyball competitions. The event organizer offer decent prizes totaling US $ 15,000 (or Rp 200 million, a large amount in local currency) to attract the participants. The Solon Bolon competition comes in 2 categories, i.e., 10 rowers and 20 rowers. The kayaking competition offers single and double categories. The beach volleyball also has categories for students, youngsters, and ladies. See more.

Horja Bius Mangalahat Horbo, July 6-7, 2018

The 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 an 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 becomes a lake. GFNY Indonesia is targeting 2,000 participants from all over the world to participate 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 category 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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