Eid in Indonesia (Al-Fitr) – Celebrations and Traditions

Due to the fact that Indonesia is a Muslim country, it will be pretty convincing to say that Eid Al-Fitr holiday is one of the most important holiday there ever is in this country. This holiday comes every year at the date of 1st syawal (Islamic date system). It could happens everyday as syawal month calculation is different than the usual calendar system.

Ied Al-Fitr Holiday is a symbolic day for Muslim people to celebrate the suffer they have been through before. As you might know, every single year, Muslim people are doing fasting. The time of the fasting is varied depending on the situation, but usually people have to fast from imsak (around 5 AM in the morning) until the fast open (18.00 PM). During that time of fast, people really can’t eat or drink anything, as well as doing any sexual activities. People can’t even putting something to their mouth, so the activity of smoking will technically failed their fast. They have to do this for a whole month, leading to the this celebration day of Ied Al-Fitr.

According to Muslims, people do fasting because they need to understand the suffering of poor people. While Muslims only doing this on fast month only, there are so many poor people who is starving and have to do fasting because they have no food to consume.

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Looking Further to Ied Al-Fitr

Ied Al-Fitr is a beautiful day for many Muslim people. It is their most important celebration day and must be handled specifically. They are doing many things and rituals to celebrate this day fully. There is this thing called zakat fitrah which is a believe that Muslims have to give another people (especially those who are poor) something like rice. This is truly an astounding way to share their happiness with other people.

Another thing to do is, in the morning of Ied Al-Fitr, people are encourage to do an Ied prayer which usually start from 7 AM. It has 2 rakaat and unique from ordinary prayers Muslims usually performs because there is khotbah. Khotbah is some preaching speech that is spoken by the leader of the pray. Its duration ranged from 30 – 45 minutes.
After the prayer, usually people will go home and do their Ied Al-Fitr Traditions. These traditions are : ask for forgiveness by their family. Usually a child will have to cry and ask for forgiveness by their parents. The parents doing vice versa.

Another thing to do is to go to relatives houses and celebrate together by hanging out and exchanging stories. This is called “Sillaturahim”. There is a famous saying that almost everyone do in this particular day. This saying is “Taqobalallahu Minna Wa Minkum, Minal Aidzin Wal Faidzin, Mohon Maaf Lahir dan Batin”, Which basically means that they are apologizing for their previous mistakes.

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Traditions in every Eid in Indonesia

There are several traditions which usually done by every moeslem in Indonesia, as follows:

a. Mudik (Travel to Their Hometown)

First traditions when celebrating Eid in Indonesia is do Mudik. This is a term for Indonesian people where they are coming back to their home city and going to their parents home. Usually they are doing this to do silaturahim with their parents and taking a break from their work or their life in the new city. Usually, people that doing this are Muslims who are going away from their city area to work or to form a new family. The length of mudik can also be varied, but usually people doing this for 3 days until 2 weeks before they’re going back to their current city. This is a wonderful opportunity for grandparents because usually their houses will be packed by their children and grandchildren. A bonding moment will likely be happening here.

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b. Do a Takbeer

When lebaran night comes, its always marked with Takbeer Shouted around. Not only in rural areas, but also urban areas. Takbeer is mark for celebrate the day of victory after do fasting for 30 days. Then, as a tradition, people usually do takbeer by using vehicles, or only walking around together with people while shouting “Allahu Akbar”. Trough this, we can see togetherness of society built by Indonesian People.

c. New Clothes

People believe that Eid Al-Fitr is like a fresh day after a whole year. In this year, if they do their obligation right, they will be cleaned from their sin. Therefore, this is like a new beginning of everything. New clothes are not mandatory, but the majority of Muslim people will choose to buy a new clothes so that they can wear it when they are visiting relatives houses. This is also a symbolic about that new beginning/chapter in their life.

d. Food

If you are coming to the house of Muslims in Eid Al-Fitr, you’ll notice this : There will be A LOT of foods. Muslims believe that in this new day of celebration, they have the rights to consume the best food and having best time in their lives.Therefore, they will usually plan this day to be full of food. You can find various delicious menus such as rendang (meat with special seasoning ala Indonesia), opor ayam (chicken that is cooked with coconut milk), sambal ati (heart of chicken combines with chilly and potato), etc. They are very delicious. Other than that, in various places, you can find houses that is preparing so many cakes and little snacks. You can also find your favourites dried cookies in containers that are prepared for guests.

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e. THR

THR means Tunjangan Hari Raya. Its same as bonus from salary we get for a month. However, there are differences. We get THR for free, not because we do best for work or other things. This bonus usually for share to our children, nephew, niece, or other siblings who eagerly waited. Moreover, its already become Indonesia Government’s degree.

f. Going to Each Other’s Houses

As I previously mention, this is called “Silaturahim”. This is the art of going to other people’s houses, be it relatives, neighbors, or even a complete stranger. Muslims are very generous when it comes to Eid Al-Fitr. Even when a complete stranger coming to their house to do “Silaturahim”, they will usually have a very good response. The duration of this silaturahim is varied, but it is ranged from 30 minutes until 2 hours, for the most part.

g. Forgiveness Traditions

This traditions already done in every region when celebrating Eid in Indonesia. Most people ask to being forgiven each other for all the fault they done in almost one year. Thus, Ied or lebaran is symbol of sharing forgiveness and all sins we have done are erased.

H. Accident Rates

In this particular day, there will be huge amount of people going from their place to their original hometown. Of course, this is also indicating that there will be a huge amount of traffic. Meanwhile, in Eid Al-Fitr, the accident rates will usually be increasing couple times more from ordinary days. In fact, Indonesian TV usually have their own program that showing how much the traffic is at the day. It will also showing people the number of traffic accidents which usually increasing from time to time.

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Regardless of what your religious believe is, I am a firm believer that we must respect one another faith and believes system. Therefore, when another people celebrating this particularly beautiful celebration day, we must also respecting it. Eid Al-Fitr is a very beautiful day because of its forgiveness and love atmosphere.

Those are complete explanation about Eid in Indonesia complete with celebrations and traditions.

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