5 Most Festive Annual Events in Surabaya

December 04, 2018

What comes into your mind when you hear the word ‘Surabaya’? The second largest city in Indonesia? Yes. The city known to be one of the places that shapes our history? Correct. A place where numbers of the most delicious food in Indonesia was born? This is also accurate. But, did you know that Surabaya has some of the most festive annual events in the country?
From culinary to art festival, here are five annual festivals you might want to attend next time you’re spending your holiday with us in Surabaya.

1. Mlaku-Mlaku Nang Tunjungan

Coming in at the top of the list is Jalan Tunjungan, one of the most well-known areas in Surabaya. Located 22 minutes away from Singgasana Hotel Surabaya, Jalan Tunjungan also has been dubbed as the most historical commercial areas in the City of Heroes which was dated back to 1930’s. During that time period, locals were started to build their own businesses by opening variety of stores – ranging from supermarket to car dealership. Jalan Tunjungan is also known for being the main road which connects several residential areas from South-East and West Surabaya. So, needless to say, there is probably no one in this country who hasn’t heard about this particular area.
The popularity of Jalan Tunjungan draws the interest from local government to turn this already iconic landmark into something even more iconic. Therefore, in 2017, the Department of Culture and Tourism announced that Jalan Tunjungan has been chosen as the venue for Surabaya’s most festive annual event ‘Mlaku-Mlaku Nang Tunjungan.’ On this event, entrepreneurs from all around Surabaya are gathered to introduce their most top selling products to the locals – ranging from clothing, souvenirs, and of course food. If you’re planning on visiting Surabaya in the near future, you don’t have to worry about missing out this event because Mlaku-Mlaku Nang Tunjungan is held every once in a month! Pretty fantastic, right?

2. Rujak Uleg Festival

It is no secret that Indonesians love spicy food. According to pergikuliner.com, our love for that tingling sensation from red chili was even dated back to 1814, when it was first mentioned in an ancient manuscript Serat Centhini. For many years, the locals were constantly exploring the possibilities of them creating new and innovative dishes, which of course have some spicy elements to it. For example, Rendang – a spicy meat dish which embodies the richness and beauty of Minangkabau culture – or the more unique version of spicy snacks called Rujak. Unlike any other traditional spicy dishes, Rujak is usually served cold, just like fruit salad, but is mixed with spicy palm sugar dressing.
Speaking of Rujak, Surabaya has one very unique annual event which involves this tasty snack. Every year since 2007, as many as 1000 Surabayans will gather around Jalan Kembang Jepun to participate on this festive event. Similar with Mlaku Mlaku Nang Tunjungan, Rujak Uleg Festival is held around May to celebrate the anniversary of Surabaya. The head of Local Department of Culture and Tourism, Irvan Widyanto, mentioned that every year Rujak Uleg Festival had went through some changes in order to make sure that the quality of this event is improving and of course to attract more spectators. For example, this year he and his team decided to add more entertaining shows such as Barongsai, Reog, and other traditional dances. With this constant improvement, we can surely expect a bigger and more festive Rujak Uleg Festival for many years to come.

3. Indonesia Art Mart

If you are interested to learn more about Realism, Surrealism, Landscape, Decorative, or Abstract and to enjoy the beauty of hundreds of paintings from the most talented painters across the nation, then look no further other than this surreal event. Indonesian Art Mart or Pameran Pasar Seni Lukis Indonesia (PSLI) is the biggest annual event for surrealist painters to show their work to general public and to basically catching up with each other. Each year, as many as 200 painters from various different regions such as East Java, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Banten, Bali, Lombok, Lampung, and Bengkulu will bring their best and latest art installments to Surabaya as a means of educational purpose and also commercial.
Besides offering an exciting experience for public, Indonesian Art Mart offers the same thing for painters. For example, this year painters were given the opportunity to explore the beauty of Surabaya, so that they can share what they’ve found through their paintings. Another exciting fact about this year’s event is that painters were also given a rare opportunity to paint East Java Governor, Khofifah Indar Parawansa. For those of you who are looking forward to attend Indonesian Art Mart, you can plan your visit to Surabaya around October. Don’t forget to check some of the most exciting promo from Singgasana Hotel Surabaya!

4. Surabaya Cross Culture International Folk and Art Festival

Coming in at number four, is another reason why you should put Surabaya on your travelling list – especially for those of you who are interested on learning about cultures from around the world. Surabaya Cross Culture Festival is an annual event where hundreds of international and local artists/performers are parading around Jalan Tunjungan wearing their best traditional costume. Last year, around 300 hundreds performers from various countries such as China, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Germany, Poland, Romania, Russia, Mexico, and New Zealand were participating on this festive event. As for Indonesia, talented artists and performers from Surabaya, Bone, Singkawang, and Banjarmasin were also bringing their A game here.
Prepare yourself to make a reservation at our hotel for couple of days, because you don’t want to miss the chance to enjoy series of fun activities at Surabaya Cross Culture Festival. Why? Because for a full five days you will not only experience the festivity of the parade, but also other exciting activities such as historical city tour, art and cultural workshop, tree planting campaign, and also a barbeque party at Kenjeran Beach Recreational Park.

5. Parade Juang

Last but not least is one of the most anticipated annual events in Surabaya – Parade Juang. If you aren’t quite familiar with this event, Parade Juang is held around November to commemorate and honor the fallen heroes who fought for this country. On November 10th, thousands of people will gathered around Tugu Pahlawan/The Heroes Monument to participate on this event. For those of you who are wondering “what makes Parade Juang Surabaya different from any other events in Surabaya?” then the answer would be a chance to see theatrical, poetry, and music performance from Surabaya’s most talented youngsters.
The head of Department of Culture and Tourism, Antik Sugiharti, stated that upon the 10th year of Parade Juang Surabaya, they wanted to make this event not as a means of entertainment but also education. Thus, many of the art performances are raising nasionalism and national heroes as its theme. If you are interested to learn more about national history or maybe you have a penchant for street photography, this can be a great alternative for a fun holiday.

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