4 September - 24 November 2018

Gayo Lues, ACEH

The largest Saman Festival in Indonesia will be held in the Gayo Lues Regency, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Province in September until November 2018. This festival has been held for many years as a competition. However, starting in 2018, this festival will be broadened by involving hundreds of performers and dozens of communities and villages in order to celebrate the existence of the Saman performance ecosystem in the Gayo Lues area.

At an international scale, Saman is known as "Dance of a thousand hands". At the Interstate Committee meeting in Bali on November 24th, 2011, UNESCO designated Saman as an Intangible Cultural Heritage from Indonesia.

This festival is not only the biggest Saman celebration as Indonesia's art performance, but it is also a worldwide culture. The Saman Festival is a colossal event that vitalizes the products of its motherland. The audience is lead to enjoy, absorb, and learn about a cultural system that contains multiple values and institutions which reflect the character and ideology of the Gayo people.

A new concept, the Bejamu Saman tradition, is put into place as this festival's main event. It is a Saman performance held for two days and two nights (Roa lo roa ingi). In this event, dancers from two different villages will perform simultaneously and share roles as hosts and guests.