The Jailolo Bay Festival will be held for the sixth time from May 29-31.
The picturesque bay is a part of the West Halmahera regency, which is situated on the northern part of Maluku Islands in Eastern Indonesia.
According to West Halmahera regent Namto H. Roba, last year's festival successfully 35,000 attendees for the three-day celebration.
“We haven’t set target for this year, but we are optimistic this year’s festival will attract even more people,” said Namto to a press conference on Tuesday.
Themed “Culture, People and Nature of West Halmahera”, the festival will involve plenty of interesting activities such as a scuba diving trip, underwater photography contest, cultural carnival, Bidadari Bird (Semiotera Wallacii) watching and northern Halmahera's culinary journey.
A “Sigofi Ngolo” ritual, which involves a boat parade and traditional percussion performance, will be carried out to mark the start of the festival. The ritual is usually performed by Jailolo’s natives to cleanse the ocean from bad spirits and ask permission to start the festive celebration.
While the main celebration “Sasadu on the sea”, which takes place on the shoreline, will feature a dance and drama performance choreographed by Eko Supriyanto, one of the nation's most acclaimed dancers and choreographers.
Namto added that travelers interested in attending can fly first to Ternate, West Halmahera before taking a 30-minute boat ride to reach Jailolo bay.
“Garuda Indonesia and Sriwijaya Airlines serves flights from Jakarta to Ternate twice a day and some other airlines serve the route once a day. The city can also be easily reached from Surabaya in East Java, Makassar in South Sulawesi and Manado in North Sulawesi. So there is no excuse not to join in the celebration,” said Namto.
In the past, Jailolo was home to an advanced maritime culture as well as a hub for the international spice trade, where merchants from around the world, including Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch traders would dock.
The festival itself aims to promote Jailolo's rich culture and natural beauty as well as attracting investors to West Halmahera.