Pesta Rakyat Iraw Tengkayu in Tarakan City, North Kalimantan Province


When spending a vacation in Tarakan City, tourists must take their time to watch the famous Pesta Rakyat Iraw Tengkayu. This local party is performed once every two years, especially during Tarakan’s birthday celebration. The festival’s prime procession is called Padaw Tujuw Dulung Ritual. Not to mention it involves several competitions, food festivals, arts performances, etc. With this merriment, the ceremony indeed lures tons of audience including those who live nearby or outsiders (tourists). The only disappointment is that the event doesn’t happen every day, so tourists must find the right schedule when to visit the region.

The Nuance
The nuance is definitely merry due to the presence of both participants and audience. The locals who carry the ritual wear special attire, though. Have no worries. Tourists or commoners can wear casual clothes while joining events. Some of the activities are done in the village while others are done in the shore. No wonder, it gives distinct entertainments and values to the audience. Therefore, tourists must not miss any of the processions later. It may take some time and stamina, but the events are quite worthy!

Exploring Pesta Rakyat Iraw Tengkayu
The most interesting procession is called Padaw Tuju Dulung. At the time, tourists conduct a parade and carry an ornamented boat with several offerings on it. The destination is a nearby shore, where they may wash away the boat to the sea. During the procession, tourists have the chance to conduct photography as well. They are not allowed to litter and cause a disturbance, though. Everyone should take care of the environment and respect both participants and other audience.

Aside from the parade, Pesta Rakyat Iraw Tengkayu features several amusing festivals including music, seafood festival, competitions, and art shows. Thus, tourists should not miss all those events. They even have the chance to join those, as long as getting the permission from the locals first. Here is the tip. Tourists must consider hiring a local guide who can tell information regarding the meaning and purpose of the ceremony. It is said the locals perform it as the form of gratitude to the God. Those local fishermen depend on sea resources, after all.

As mentioned before, Pesta Rakyat Iraw Tengkayu is done once every two years. Thus, tourists must come at the right time in order to avoid disappointment. As for the tip, they can talk to a tour agency first regarding the exact schedule and place. At least, they can prepare before visiting Tarakan Island. Don’t forget to carry a camera too!

Nearby Attractions

  • “99” Monument
  • Amal Beach

How to Get There
From Soekarno – Hatta International Airport (Jakarta City), tourists can directly head to Tanjung Harapan Airport at Tanjung Selor City. This flight takes approximately 1 day and 11 hours, though. Next, tourists should head to Kayan Port in order to get the best boat service. Their destination is Tengkayu Port at Tarakan Island. Once arriving at Tarakan, the next destination is a nearby village where the locals conduct the event. Once again, it is better to find out the schedule first before visiting Tarakan City.

Where to Stay

  • Grand Citra Hotel
  • Mutiara Hotel
  • Surya Golden Hotel


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