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East Timor

East Timor: Holidays and National Customs

Public holidays

There are a number of public holidays that do not have a fixed date, but are based on the location of Easter. Easter takes place on the first Sunday that follows the first full moon after the beginning of spring. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which ends on Holy Saturday, is 46 days before Holy Saturday. The date for Pentecost is then 50 days after Easter. The Corpus Christi festival is celebrated on the 2nd Thursday after Pentecost. All Saints' Day is celebrated for Orthodox Christians on the 1st Sunday after Pentecost, but for Catholic Christians the date is fixed on November 1st.

Date Holiday
January 1 New Year
March April Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday
May 20 Independence Day, which is celebrated with traditional dances.
15th of August Ascension
August 30 Referendum day
September 20 Liberation Day
November 28 National holiday
November 12 Santa Cruz Day, memory of the massacre in the cemetery of the Santa Cruz Church.
25 December Christmas

Source: Countryaah - East Timor Holidays

East Timor Holidays

Special national customs

The Legend of the Crocodile

One day a boy came across a baby crocodile that was struggling on its way from the lagoon to the sea. Since it was very weak, the boy had mercy and carried it into the sea in his arms.

The crocodile was very grateful and promised the boy to remember his help. It told the boy that if he ever wished to travel, he should just go to the seashore and call the crocodile. It would then come and help him.

After a while, the boy remembered the crocodile's promise. He went to the seashore and called the crocodile three times. The crocodile hurried over and instructed the boy to sit on his back. In the course of time the boy was carried to many foreign regions in this meadow.

But even though the two were friends, the crocodile remained a crocodile and felt a strong urge to eat the boy. This preoccupied the crocodile and asked other animals for advice. It asked the whale, the tiger, the buffalo and many other animals, who gave it the following answer:

"The boy was so nice to you, you cannot eat him!" In the end he went to the clever monkey for advice. After listening to the crocodile, he conjured it and disappeared.

The crocodile was ashamed and decided not to eat the boy. Instead, it carried the boy around the world on his back for more years, until the crocodile became very old. The crocodile sensed that it would never be able to satisfy the boy's willingness to help. It therefore spoke to the boy. I will probably die soon. Therefore, I would like to shape a country for you and your descendants. And so the crocodile turned into the island of Timor, which is still in the shape of a crocodile today. The boy had many descendants, all of whom inherited his helpfulness.

Nowadays the people of Timor call crocodiles grandfather. And every time they cross a river, they exclaim: "Crocodile, I am your grandson, don't eat me!"


This entertainment sport, cruel for us, is extremely popular in the country.


Tipping is not necessarily expected, but since the waitresses in the restaurants earn very little, you should tip.

East Timor: climate

The climate in East Timor is tropical, meaning hot and humid. The average temperatures vary very little over the year.

The climate in East Timor is largely determined by the monsoons. The northeast monsoon brings the rainy season.

November to May is the rainy season with the highest temperatures.

The dry season is from June to October. Spring from May to July is considered the best time to travel, as the temperatures are pleasantly mild and the dry season begins.

The best time to travel to East Timor

As mentioned, the best travel time is spring from May to July, as the temperatures are pleasantly mild and the dry season begins.

In the rainy season, getting around the country is extremely difficult as the roads literally dissolve in the rain and dangerous floods occur.

East Timor: sights, sports


Ili Kere Kere

The caves of Ili Kere Kere represent the most important archaeological site of East Timor. In 1966 and 1967 stone tools and bone remnants of the 7 kg extinct giant rat were discovered here.

The finds were dated to an age of 13,000 years. Not far from the caves there is another archaeological site, the Lene Hare Caves, in which shell remains that are 30,000 years old have been found.

Sacred buildings and sacred institutions

Christ statue at Cape Fatucama

The Christ statue at Cape Fatucama is famous for the fantastic view. The statue was erected at the southern end of the Bay of Dili in 1988 by the Indonesian occupation forces under Soeharto based on the model of the Christ statue in Rio der Janeiro. It is 27 m high and thus refers to the 27 provinces of Indonesia. The Indonesians declared East Timor the 27th province.

Cathedral in Dili

The cathedral of Dili was also built in 1988 by the Indonesian occupation forces under Soeharto. It was consecrated in 1989 by Pope John Paul II.

Holy House in Aituto

The Holy House in Aituto, in the Ainaru region, is a wooden rotunda made of wood with a thatched roof crowned by a carved stele.

Holy House of the Fatulúku Tribe

The Holy House of the Fatulúku Tribe in the Lautein (Lautém) region is a house built on stilts. A high thatched roof rises above a rectangular floor plan, covered by carvings with the initials TL for Timor-Leste is crowned.

Hindu temple in Maliana

Located in the Bobonaru (Bobanaro) region

Cultural center

Uma Fukun Cultural Center in Dili

The Uma Fukun Cultural Center in Dili are buildings from the Portuguese colonial times

Special buildings

Portuguese buildings in Dili

Fataluku style houses on stilts in Desa Rasa.

Traditional mountain village houses in Same

The mountain village houses are in the Manufahi region

Santa Cruz Cemetery in Dili.

The massacres took place here in 1991

Nino Konis Santana National Park

Nino Konis Santana National Park

The park is the first national park in East Timor. In July July 2007 parts in the far east of East Timor and on the island of Jaco were declared a national park. The official opening took place a year later on August 4th, 2008. The park got its name from the fighter for the independence of East Timor - Nino Konis Santana (1959-1998). Around 10,000 people live in the area of the national park, and they want to get them excited about the idea of a conservation park. The national park covers a total area of 1,236 km - of which 680 km² is land and 556 km² is sea.

Other attractions

Tai Market in Dili

Here you can buy wonderful traditional weavings.


Diving and snorkeling

Since the islanders do not get their main source of food from the sea, East Timor was spared the fate of many Asian countries: fishing with dynamite, which irrevocably destroys the coral world. In East Timor you will find untouched and undamaged diving areas. These are mostly in the north of the island between Dili and Manatutu.

Deep sea fishing

Due to the abundance of fish in the surrounding seas, the chances of a good catch are quite good.


There are a number of bush walks on the island.


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