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Jember Fashion Carnaval float. Bena NDR / Creative Commons

The Jember Fashion Carnaval (yes, with an a) takes place over four days in August every year. Inspired by the Brazilian pre-Lenten Carnival, the Jember Fashion Carnaval uses the town’s main highway as a catwalk to show off an amazing variety of extravagant, Indonesian-influenced costumes borne by smiling dancers.

Local fashion designer Dynand Fariz launched the first Carnaval in 2003; ever since, the frilly and colorful costumed parades have become a much-anticipated event around Jember and the rest of East Java, drawing thousands of visitors for Carnaval season.

The costumes usually take on themes drawn from global events, and the carnival participants create their costumes from scratch using available materials.

Visit the official website for more information: jemberfashioncarnaval.com.


Jember Fashion Carnaval participant. Bena NDR / Creative Commons


Jember Fashion Carnaval participant. Henry Sudarman / Creative Commons

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For similar festivals with a flair for costume crafts, visit Malaysia’s Sabah Fest; the Philippines’ Sinulog; and Vietnam’s Hue Festival. For other festivals in the month of August, visit the Philippines’ Kadayawan Festival, Brunei’s Sultan’s Birthday festivities and Malaysia’s Merdeka Day Celebrations.