Toraja Events & Festivals 2019

If you love an adventure, make sure to join the Toraja Mountain Bike Festival. During this festival, you can explore Toraja’s winding roads from atop a bike, hurtling past mountain villages and ending up in a bustling town surrounded by other cycling enthusiasts.
The Toraja International Festival aims to celebrate the Torajan art world as well as showcasing dances, music, and visual art from countries around the world. The Toraja Coffee Festival is just like it sounds. Come join the festival and have a taste of the unique and delicious Torajan coffee. A visit to Toraja is incomplete if you have not attended a Rambu Solo’ or Rambu Tuka’ ceremony. A Rambu Solo’ ceremony is a death ceremony, where family members and neighbors gather together to celebrate and commemorate the deceased. A Rambu Tuka’ ceremony celebrates life and encompasses events such as the blessing of a new Tongkonan to weddings.
Death is a very important part of Torajan life and culture. Come see a Ma’nene ceremony, which may occur annually after the harvest or every three years, depending on the region. In the north, Ma’nene ceremonies occur every three years and may include the re-wrapping of deceased family members’ cloth bindings. In the south, Ma’nene may include offerings of food to the ancestors or the re-dressing of Tau Tau. To help celebrate local talent, come and enjoy films created by Torajans concerning Torajan life and culture at the Toraja Film Festival.
Join one of the biggest marathon events in Indonesia at the Toraja Marathon. Also, if you are addicted to traditional textile and weaving, keep an eye out for the Toraja Weaving Festival.
When entering the last month of the year, you will be greeted with the biggest event in Toraja, Lovely December. There are lots of events that you can enjoy for almost the entire month, including an Art & Culture Festival, Food & Culinary Festival, Motor Trail Adventure, and much more. Rambu Solo’ and Rambu Tuka’ ceremonies occur around Toraja from December to January.
PT pacébo tours Ltd. Tour – Expeditions & Travel Agency. Shore Excursion – Ground Handling Cruise Ship. Makassar – South Sulawesi – Indonesia |

Ethnic Torajans

There is nowhere else on earth where the words death and lavish can be paired in a sentence as in Toraja. In this ethereally charming land, death has never borne sadness. On the contrary, it is the ultimate goal of life, longing to be celebrated by both the departed and the family members left behind. Cheers that echo through hilltops, a big feast for all guests, and traditional dances redefine what human perceive as morbid into something beautiful. The death ceremonies of Toraja, named Rambu Solo’, is the apotheosis of Torajan festival because of the sheer magnitude and cultural significance that follows.
Rambu Solo’ is a ceremony of the departed, where buffaloes are highly revered as a sacrificial entity playing an irreplaceable role in Torajan traditions. The more a Torajan individual is respected, the more buffaloes to sacrifice. Some even bear staggering numbers of hundreds, with a belief that with each buffaloes sacrificed, the departed will enter the afterlife (Puya) more easily. The meat of the sacrificed buffaloes are then shared with the guests attending as part of the revelry. It is a very extravagant and paramount celebration dating back to ancestral times, where buffaloes carefully and lovingly cared for give their meat back to the community that cherished them. These ceremonies are events highly anticipated by locals and travelers alike, as they show the true hues of Torajan culture in its essence. Grand is not even a word fitting enough to describe the excitement and festivities going on as the Torajans always celebrate the parting in an extravagant feast. Then comes the burial. Contrary to traditional norms, here, burial should not be hidden from the public eyes. Tombs are laid down through a specific construct: the higher the location, the nobler it is for family members. In each ceremony, children and descendants pay respect to their elderly departed.
Like yin and yang, beside a Rambu Solo’, the death ceremony, is Rambu Tuka’, the life ceremony in Toraja. The word Rambu Tuka’ can literally be translated as ‘smoke ascending.’ These celebrations are always associated with life. There are certain rites that accompany a Rambu Tuka’. For example, a Rambu Tuka’ is always held in the morning to the east of the main Tongkonan. Rambu Tuka’ celebrates life and encompasses events such as the blessing of a new Tongkonan (Mangrara Banua) to weddings (Rampanan Kapa’). Other Rambu Tuka’ ceremonies include Ma’bugi, a thanks giving ritual held after harvest and Sisemba’, a celebration of the harvest which includes a kicking fight. During these life-related ceremonies, make sure to wear bright colored clothing and avoid black, as black is worn to death ceremonies.
PT pacébo tours Ltd. Tour – Expeditions & Travel Agency. Shore Excursion – Ground Handling Cruise Ship. Makassar – South Sulawesi – Indonesia |

Toraja & Beyond 8D 7N

DAY 01 
Toraja Beyond: Makassar, Maros, and Pare-Pare

Arrive at Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in Makassar. Afterwards, drive approximately 30 minutes to Rammang-Rammang in the Maros Regency. Take a boat and explore the magnificent views of the 3rd largest karst forest in the world. Continue your trip to the north with a lunch break scheduled in Pare Pare. Get your coffee or tea fix at Bambapuang to see the erotic mountain. In the late afternoon, arrive in Toraja. Have dinner and stay overnight at a hotel.
DAY 02 
Toraja: Lemo, Londa, Ke’te’ Kesu’, and Karassik Hills

After breakfast, spend a full day tour exploring Toraja. First, visit Lemo, where the burial site comprises of a commanding karst cliff that blends beautifully with the surrounding vegetation and rice fields. From there, drive to Londa to see an ancient grave where the deceased are entombed in a cave. After lunch, continue to Ke’te’ Kesu’ to see and explore Toraja traditional houses, called Tongkonan. Then visit Karassik Hills to learn about Toraja Batik and make one to take home. Enjoy a wonderful dinner in one of the restaurants in Rantepao. Stay overnight at a hotel.
DAY 03 
Toraja: Sesean Suloara’ Village, Lo’ko’ Mata, Sanggar Tari Pana’, Lempo

After breakfast, we set out on a trip to Sesean Suloara’ Village in Sesean. First, visit Lo’ko’ Mata, with its burial chambers cut out of a giant boulder. Then, watch Toraja traditional dances at Sanggar Tari Pana’. Don’t hesitate to try one of the dances, like Pa’gellu or Manganda dance. After lunch, enjoy a soft trek through beautiful rice fields in Lempo. Make sure to enjoy the view of buffaloes, birds and the swaying of the rice stalks in the fields around you. Return to the hotel before you enjoy dinner in the city and stay overnight.
DAY 04 
Toraja: Land Above The Clouds, Burake, Coffee Roastery, Shops in Rantepao

Wake up early to catch the sunrise with beautiful, white clouds in Lolai. Capture the moment in Tongkonan Lempe and have a breakfast at Café Lolai. Don’t forget to walk through the pine forest of Tirotiku and stop by at To’tombi to enjoy the bird’s eye view of the city. After lunch, head to Burake, where you can see the highest Jesus statue in the world from up close. Then, continue the journey to one of the coffee roasteries in town. Try the local taste of Toraja Arabica coffee and then explore the town and its shops on foot. Stay overnight at a hotel.
DAY 05 
Beyond Toraja: Sengkang, Watampone, and Bira

After breakfast, drive to After breakfast, drive to Makassar through Sengkang, which is located in the center of the Bugis Kingdom. You can sail through Tempe Lake to visit the floating houses in the middle (note: Tempe Lake might be shallow in dry season due to lack of rainfall. If the lake is too shallow, you will not be able to cross the lake). Lunch can be served in a house in the middle of the lake if ordered ahead. Continue to Watampone to visit the Museum of Andi Mappasisi to see the collections of the former Bugis royalty, with one of their most famous kings being Arung Pallakka. Arrive in Bira in the late afternoon. Have dinner and stay overnight at a hotel.
DAY 06 
Beyond Toraja: Bira

Have breakfast at the hotel and then enjoy free time. You can enjoy water activities such as a banana boat, snorkelling, or renting a boat to visit Liukang Island located across from the main island. Liukang Island is also known as the breeding place for the green turtle and if you’re lucky, you can swim together with these turtles. Have dinner and stay overnight at a hotel. Note: there is an additional fee for lunch.
DAY 07 
Beyond Toraja: Bira, Tana Beru, Bantaeng, and Makassar

After breakfast, drive to Makassar for approximately 6 hours. Stop at Tana Beru to see the famous Bugis-Makassar Pinisi Ship builders. Lunch will be served at a seafood restaurant with a beautiful view to the sea. Continue to Bisappu waterfall in the Bantaeng Regency and, while passing through Jeneponto Regency, keep an eye out for the salt farms. Enter Makassar in the late afternoon and enjoy dinner at your favorite restaurant in town.
DAY 08 
Beyond Toraja: Fort Rotterdam, and Makassar Airport

After breakfast, if time allows, go for a short city tour to visit Fort Rotterdam, the old Dutch fortress located right in front of Losari Beach. Then, head directly to Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport to catch a flight to your next destination.

Explore Toraja

The Torajans are an indigenous Austronesian ethnic group located in a mountainous region of Sulawesi Selatan, Indonesia. Alongside their rich culture and traditions, Torajans also treasure the abundant myths about the origin of their name.
Learn the history of Toraja, where its people have been shaped by the surrounding landscape and blessed with great longevity. In this land, well-preserved ancestral traditions are practiced within the peaceful communal society. Recently introduced ideas, such as Christianity, synchronize harmoniously with local customs, making Toraja someplace special. Witness the dramatic ceremonies, family bonds, cuisine and art of the only living megalithic culture in the modern world. Enveloped by magnificent natural landscapes, Toraja is full of life-changing experiences and is waiting to be explored.
Toraja’s nature, once it casts its spell, will eternally ensnare you in its net of bewilderment. Let the land embrace you and allow the air to sing you a melody of serenity. The beliefs that Torajans hold dear to their hearts are reflected in every handcrafted wonder, all conceived by the genuine intention that these products will be beneficial to their community and the world around them. Coffee and hand-woven fabrics are known to bear the signature taste and patterns Toraja is famed for.
01. Papa Batu – Stone Roof Tongkonan

The house was founded around 700 years ago and the roof is made of andesite and padas stones. Papa’ Batu Tongkonan is considered to be the last Tongkonan house with a roof of stone and it’s considered sacred by the people of the region. You must knock three times on the doorframe with your head before entering the house.

02. Natsir’s Organic Farm – Traditional Chocolate Making

At Natsir’s Organic Farm, you are able to tour Pak Natsir’s organic farm and then make your own chocolate from organic ingredients grown onsite. Learn to make delicious Toraja chocolate in bamboo tubes from scratch and you can take it all home or eat it right away. You can also try tropical fruits taken straight from the vast garden.

03. Kambira – Baby Graves

Trees in Kambira were used as living graves for babies who died before getting their first teeth. This is because, according to the ancestral belief of Aluk Todolo, these babies are considered to still be pure and therefore cannot be buried in the ground or interred in a cliff. The trees used as graves (tarra’ and sipate) emit a white sap that represents a mother’s milk.

04. Tampang Allo – Cave Burial Site

After going down a fairly hidden track towards the mountains and crossing a narrow river, one enters the burial site with suspend coffins and graves carved into the cliff face in Sangalla’ called Tampang Allo. A well-known romantic lover story is buried inside and beautiful sceneries of rice fields, karts hills and other natural caves surround this cultural site.

05. Pasar Bolo – Livestock Market

Held every Tuesday and Saturday, Bolu Market (Pasar Bolu) is a traditional livestock market in Toraja. Dominated by hundreds of buffaloes up for sale, Bolu Market is the biggest buffalo market in the world. You may find various types of buffalo that are used by Torajans in several ceremonies, including even the most expensive buffalo if you’re lucky.

06. Bori’ Kalimbuang – Megalithic Stone Complex

Bori’ is a megalithic area with numerous big stone monuments or menhirs used in traditional ceremonies. Each stone represents a feat of merit performed in the past by a person of high status. Bori’ has been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage site and from the moment you step up the stones, you will feel like you have travelled back to an ancient world.

07. Palawa – Traditional Tongkonan

Adorned with ornaments of sun circles and rooster carvings, Palawa’ Tongkonan complex is a breathtaking sight. Fix your eyes on historical remnants of the ancestral war of the 11th century, with all the majestic buffalo horns proclaiming regality with every inch.

08. Sa’dan To’Barana’ – Weaving Village

Every weave and profound stitching can be felt by everyone touching the handmade marvels of Torajan fabric. Displayed proudly in amalgamation with beautiful rice fields surrounding the premise, ththe textiles are essentially pieces of souls of the ancestral spirits that still exist until today.

09. Ke’te’ Kesu’ – Traditional Tongkonan

In this popular traditional village, you will see the impressive rows of great traditional houses and rice barns, proudly showing off the buffalo horns of past sacrifices. Nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Ke’te’ Kesu’ will capture your attention with every glance.

10. Batutumonga – Nature & Village Life

Located at the slope of Sesean Mountain, the highest mountain in Toraja, Batutumonga is one of the places in Toraja to enjoy the ”Land Above The Clouds,” including the panorama of Rantepao City. Beautiful homestays in Sesean Suloara’ Tourism Village are ready to welcome those who want to experience living with locals and spending the night amongst the sounds of nature.

11. Lemo – Cliff Burial Site

A burial site comprised of a commanding karst cliff that blends beautifully with the surrounding vegetation and rice fields. This burial site is estimated to date back to the 16th century and you will see several Tau Tau (wooden statues) craftsmen who have sold these figurines at this site for generations.

11. Londa – Cave & Cliff Burial Site

Londa is a sight to see, with its panorama of a rice field at the foot of a large cliff face dotted with graves, coffins, and large hanging vines. Explore the beauty of the natural cave walls with an interesting love story waiting to be told.

12. Burake – Religious & Nature Site

The Burake Jesus Statue stands 40 meters high (131 feet) and is claimed to be a statue of Jesus located at the highest elevation in the world. From this large statue, you can overlook the city of Makale and enjoy the breeze. Additionally, you can explore the majestic karst clusters surrounding the statue.

13. Lolai – Nature Site

Popularly known as the Land Above the Clouds. With views over an expanse of clouds like white cotton, you will get a sensation of being above the clouds. While waiting for the sunrise, white clouds gather close to your feet, creating an irreplaceable experience. You also can taste Torajan coffee while enjoying a panoramic view of the sunrise.

PT pacébo tours Ltd.

Tour – Expeditions & Travel Agency. Shore Excursion – Ground Handling Cruise Ship. Sewa Bus Pariwisata Makassar – Sulawesi Selatan – Indonesia. |

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