As we move through the year in Jakarta, staying informed about significant dates can help us plan and make the most of upcoming events. Whether it’s global observances, national holidays, or important local celebrations, marking these dates in your calendar ensures you won’t miss out on anything noteworthy.

Here are the key dates you should mark down in your calendar:
20 May – Hari Kebangkitan Nasional (National Awakening Day)
1 June – Hari Lahir Pancasila (Pancasila’s Birthday)
8 June – World Ocean Day
14 June – World Blood Donation Day

Hari Kebangkitan Nasional (20 May)

Hari Kebangkitan Nasional, or National Awakening Day, holds deep historical significance, and represents the beginning of the nationalist movement that sparked the fight for Indonesia’s independence. It serves as a reminder for Indonesians on the inception of the country’s ‘unity’ today, and indeed that once this was a country divided. It traces back to the introduction of Ethical Policy in the Dutch East Indies in 1901, a social response to the previous policies of win-gewest (region-for-profit) and cultuurstelsel (forced cultivation) which were seen as oppressive and highly-exploitative doctrines.

Ethical Policy saw the introduction of three programmes for irrigation, transmigration, and education, aimed at improving the well-being of the local population. Ironically, the handful of Indonesians who were given a Dutch education were thus introduced to philosophies of freedom, liberty and morals — which were the early embers of a rising consciousness for independence: i.e. the national awakening.

These new enlightened pupils merged and formed Budi Utomo (BU), founded by Dr. Wahidin Soedirohoesodo, an organisation that became the catalyst for the spirit of native Indonesians who realised that they had been living under extreme injustice under colonial rule and that they deserved the same rights as any human. With support garnered from students at STOVIA, BU was formally established on 20 May 1908, marking a significant moment in Indonesian history, which was then cultivated at the Youth Pledge that officially united all native people from different cultures, and races into one emerging nation of Indonesia.

Hari Lahir Pancasila (1 June)

Hari Lahir Pancasila, or Pancasila’s Birthday, is a celebration of the inception of Indonesia’s five founding principles, known as Pancasila (literally in Sanskrit, five principles). It is one of the most recent national holidays which commemorates the pivotal moment when the Dokuritsu Junbi Cosakai (Preparatory Committee for Indonesian Independence/BPUPKI) convened to formulate the State Foundation for the Republic. During the second BPUPKI meeting on 1 June 1945, Soekarno delivered a speech titled “The Birth of Pancasila’’ outlining the initial concept of the five principles as the basis for Indonesian statehood. Soekarno introduced five principles: “Nationalism,” “Internationalism or Humanity,” “Democracy,” “Social Justice,” and “Belief in One Supreme God.”

To refine and create a Constitution based on these principles, BPUPKI formed the Nine-Person Committee, which included prominent figures like Soekarno, Mohammad Hatta and Agus Salim. After various trial processes and deliberations, Pancasila was ratified at the PPKI Meeting on 18 August 1945, becoming the official founding principles of Indonesia. Pancasila Birth Day is now honoured as a national holiday as a reminder of the unifying role of Pancasila in a diverse nation, emphasising inclusivity, tolerance, brother and sisterhood and mutual cooperation.

World Ocean Day (8 June)

The oceans are essential to the continuation of life on Earth, as well as to climate regulation, food production and biodiversity. In order to increase public awareness of the value of the oceans, the UN General Assembly established World Oceans Day in 2008, after Canada first presented the idea in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro as a way to honour the importance of the ocean and our relationship to it. This day serves as an inspiration for united efforts towards nurturing a thriving ocean and a stable climate.

Through the World Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council, the initiative supports collaborative conservation efforts, working with a global network of youth leaders and over 2,000 organisations in 150+ countries. It provides free and customisable resources to promote and facilitate actionable steps for ocean conservation. To commemorate World Oceans Day, the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea also coordinates various activities while UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) sponsors the World Ocean Network, all of which have been instrumental in organising ocean awareness events since 2002.

Want to learn how you can contribute to Indonesia’s seas and oceans? Read our 2022 article on Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara to learn about their mission.

World Blood Donation Day (14 June)

Blood transfusion saves hundreds of patients’ lives every day, but adequate blood supply is needed to continue helping those people who are in need of blood transfusion. Encouraging and promoting voluntary blood donation is a goal of every country in the world. In order to raise awareness of the voluntary blood donation importance, and to recognise voluntary blood donors, the WHO decided to assign one day every year to celebrate volunteer blood donors and named that day the “World Blood Donor Day” (WBDD), first celebrated on 14 June 2004, choosing the date in memory of Karl Landsteiner who discovered the ABO blood groups in the year 1900.

Blood donation is not just a noble pursuit that can help to save other people’s lives, but also by giving blood it can help you reduce harmful iron stores, lower the risk of heart attacks, and help to keep your liver healthy. So if you’re between the age of 19-65, in good health and able to pass the physical and health-history assessment, we highly encourage you to donate. In Indonesia you can donate blood through the Red Cross (Palang Merah Indonesia).

Schedules for blood donation in Jakarta can be found at or for more information on Palang Merah Indonesia, visit

NOW! Jakarta

NOW! Jakarta

The article is produced by editorial team of NOW!Jakarta