Already ongoing for one month from 3rd January to 6th February 2015, the Carang River Festival 2015 highlights Tanjung Pinang on Bintan island and the many attractions of the capital city of the Riau Islands Province. Taking place for the second time, the festival emerges as the latest tourist attraction of the Riau Islands.
Celebrating the 231st anniversary of the city of Tanjung Pinang, the Festival also welcomes the National Press Day being held this year in the Riau Archipelago.
Carang River Festival or locally known as Festival Sungai Carang is a special cultural event centered on the Carang River with focus on the history of the Riau Province. It features various competitions including a relay cooking competition, “bunga telur” or egg flower competition, painting competition, gurindam competition, and more.
A unique feature of the festival is “bunga telur” or egg flowers parade and competition. An inseparable part of the strong Malay ethnic culture of the Riau Archipelago, egg flowers are usually found at weddings, circumcisions, and other traditional ceremonies. In this parade, a team of at least 10 people will carry decorated eggs on traditional betel leaves holder calledcerana. As they march along the streets, the teams are accompanied by musical groups playing Malay traditional musical instruments such as kompang, dakung, accordion, and others.
The Carang River is an important river course that played a significant role in the heydays of the Johor-Riau kingdom. Tourists can also enjoy a historical boat tour along the river to learn about the history of the Johor-Riau Kingdom and the development of the Riau Islands.
The river tour starts from Pelantar 1 pier, all the way to Engku Putri Bridge. Along the way, the boat will pass historical sites of the city such as the Bayan Island, Tanjungunggat, Kampung Bulang, Batu 6 Port, until it reaches the Kota Rebah Historical Site. The boat then turns to Penyengat Island and continues to Dompak Bay.
Penyengat Island which directly faces the city of Tanjung Pinang was the joint seat of the once powerful Johor-Riau kingdom. Today it still attracts many visitors with its beautiful and unique mosque and way of life of its inhabitants who are mostly descendents of the old aristocracy.
Tanjung Pinang is easily accessible and is less than an hour’s ferry ride from Singapore. There are many ferries that shuttle daily between Singapore and Tanjung Pinang.