Ya'ahowu Cultural Festival in Gunungsitoli City, Indonesia


An annual cultural festival is done in Nias Regency and it is called Ya’ahowu Ceremony. The locals gather in a specific location and perform several art shows and cultural attractions. Usually, the event goes on up to 6 days! This is why many tourists are also interested to watch the event and enjoy all the performances while spending a week in Gunungsitoli. That means this festival has attracted people who do not live in Nias! Hopefully, it helps introduce local cultures to foreigners as well. Here is more information regarding the event.

The Nuance
Despite the popularity, the event is not quite luxurious. Still, it looks majestic due to the presence of the performers who wear traditional clothes of Nias and other regions. During the event, several traditional dances like Faluaya (the war dance), Maena, Moyo Dance, Lioness Dance (barongsai), and others. As for the location, Ya’ahowu Park becomes the regular choice. Here is another important fact. The festival shows not only the traditions of Nias Tribe, but also from other tribes like Acehnese, Chinese, Minang, and Batak.

Exploring Ya'ahowu Cultural Festival
The best attraction during the event is the local dance called Maena. In fact, the local government is always trying to break the record of MURI by displaying the mass dance during the event. Recently, more than 6000 dancers performed it! Aside from that, tourists can enjoy other dances as well, depending on the schedule. At the beginning of the event, the committee would hit the gong as it signals the beginning of the ceremony. Further, the locals perform several beautiful dances as mentioned earlier. Here is the tip. Make sure not to miss both the opening and closing ceremony.

The next charm of Ya’ahowu Cultural Festival is the number of visitors, which can reach up to 10,000 people! Such crowd definitely makes the ceremony merrier and more fun. Somehow, it helps tourists to make new friends, especially the local people. Here is the thing. Make sure to find the best spot to watch the event, as the place would be quite crowded and uncomfortable to enjoy the dances. As for the tip, it is better to use the help of a tourist agent, who can help you to get the best seat or spot for watching.

Aside from watching the dances and art performances, visitors can enjoy some competitions as well. This includes the traditional boat rowing! During the race, it is better to use a camera and take some pictures of such cheerful moments. Another tip is that you must not come to the location empty handed. That means carrying local snacks and drinks is quite recommended, including Harinako.

Nearby Attractions

  • Charlita Beach
  • Nias Heritage Museum
  • Bunda Maria Park
  • Humogo Waterfall
  • Kara Sangadulo
  • Hoya Beach
  • Muara Indah Beach

How to Get There
The fastest way to get to Nias Regency from Jakarta City is by airplane. In this case, the prime destination is Binaka Airport and the trip takes about 12 hours and 30 minutes. After arriving at the airport, the next destination is Ya’ahowu Park where the event is held.

Where to Stay

  • Soliga Hotel
  • Nasional Hotel
  • Sthree Hotel
  • Tinca Hotel
  • Binaka II Hotel

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