From 11th to 13th September 2013, the charming little island-town of Ambon will sparkle with colorful festivities as the 7th Annual Ambon Bay Festival gets underway.
Held for the first time in 2006, the Ambon Bay Festival takes place annually at the end of September and is based not only in Ambon, but also throughout the West Seram Regency. The event is aimed to further promote tourism potentials and establish Ambon and the Maluku Province as one of the top national and international tourist destinations.
One of the main highlights of the festival is the Arumbae Manggarube traditional boat race. In the race, boats carrying 28 to 31 rowers will compete to be the first to reach the finish line. There will also be the traditional Maluku outrigger Semang Boat race which features women in traditional costumes manning the boats and race against each other. Another fascinating feature of the event is the relay swim race which starts from Ambon Bay ( at Martafons point) and finishes at the southern end of Ambon (at Galala).
There will also be an underwater photography competition, traditional fishing competitions, painting and mosaic competitions, and the Batu Badaong traditional story telling competition which will be participated by students from throughout Ambon.
The tiny islands of Ambon, Banda, Saumlaki, Ternate and Tidore - among the thousands of islands in the Moluccas seas, changed the course of world history from the 15th century onwards. These islands triggered what became the European Age of Exploration. For, in search of the Spice Islands in the Far East, Christopher Columbus sailed west – and discovered America. Vasco da Gama sailed south and discovered the long route around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope in 1498 to finally reach India after a long and perilous voyage. Only later did the Portuguese finally discover the sea route to Banda and Ambon. These small islands in the eastern deep seas of the Indonesian archipelago were for centuries the sole producers of the fragrant nutmeg and mace in the world. At the time, these spices fetched their weight in gold in Medieval Europe.
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