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List of 15 Traditions in Indonesia During Eid Al Fitr : The Victory Day Celebrations

by Yoga Adi

So, after talking more and more about the holy month of Ramadhan, let’s move the topic to the final day of Ramadhan, which is Eid Al Fitr or as many people in Indonesia would like to call it as Idul Fitri. This is the day of victory, the day of celebration, the day when we finally have done our obligation to fast all month.

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To celebrate the victory day, many Muslims around the globe do unique things based on their culture. People in Arabia may have a different way to celebrate The Day to us in Indonesia. Of course, with a lot of cultures that are different, we also have our own ways to celebrate it. Those are included in this article of traditions in Indonesia during Eid Al Fitr.

1 – Fireworks

Let’s start the list with the first one in the traditions in Indonesia during Eid Al Fitr which is to celebrate the day with fireworks. Usually, even before the prayer, some people start to fire them. The condition is even merrier after the prayer. Even though most of them can’t be seen because of the sunlight, but the atmosphere is still strong.

However, the fireworks are not only used during the day of Eid Al Fitr, but also the night before that, which is the last day of fasting in Ramadhan. As the closure, people in the cities are showing their best fireworks, from the start of the dusk to midnight, and even pass that. The city will be very much merrier than before.

2 – Circling the City

Teenagers are sometimes doing this thing called touring. If the daily routine of touring is going from one point to another, which usually about going to one city to the others, during the night of Eid Al Fitr, most of them would prefer to wander aimlessly, circling the city to see how people celebrate it.

This activity is not done by teenagers, but also by all people in general. They also want to feel the celebration atmosphere. They can see the fireworks up close, see the tradition and culture to celebrate the coming Eid Al Fitr day. It’s nothing happier than seeing other people feel happy about it.

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3 – Mudik

As mentioned in earlier article, most people in Indonesia would like to do this thing called Mudik. It basically means coming home, usually for the people who live far away from their hometown. There are always times for reuniting with the loved ones, and one of those times is the moment of Eid Al Fitr.

If you ask us how people do this Mudik every year, we’re gonna give two options. The first one is by using the privately owned vehicle, either a motorcycle or a car, and the second one is by using public transportations, which you have to pay for the tickets. But, the government of Indonesia provides another option, the free Mudik for all. So people can go home without paying anything.

4 – Buy New Clothing

There’s a term in the country “Baju Baru Alhamdulillah, Bisa Dipakai di Hari Raya” (Thank God we have new clothing for Eid Al Fitr), which usually sang in a happy mood. With that comes in mind, it’s not a crime to shop for the new clothing, in the perfect and suitable time like this.

Many families would like to visit the Malls or any place you can get clothing for Lebaran of Eid Al Fitr. This condition is greatly supported by the discounts provided to bring in more customers. That’s why days before Eid Al Fitr, you can see the Malls are always crowded with visitors.

5 – Tunjangan Hari Raya / THR (Eid Al Fitri Compensation)

One lovely thing that many wait for Ramadhan and Eid Al Fitr day that included inside the traditions in Indonesia during Eid Al Fitr is THR or Tunjangan Hari Raja. THR consists of a month full payment, a full compensation that given to all the workers in a company. So in a month, they can receive double payment, which is quite nice.

Not only the national corporations, but also the private ones. They give and must give the compensation to their workers, because besides as a token of gratitude, the government also has laws about it. The corporation that won’t give any single coin to their workers for THR, would likely to get suffered from them.

6 – Making Ketupat

Do you know what is Ketupat? This thing that is shaped with coconut leaves is a must have to celebrate Eid Al Fitr. You can use any food you want, but it seems to be right that Ketupat is there as well. It’s one of those that you can eat with anything basically. Do you want to eat it with Rawon? Curry? or Soup maybe? It’s still delicious.

Usually, the ones who make the Ketupat are women, they can be moms or girls. The process of making it is also very simple.

7 – Sending Foods

As many other people know about Indonesia, the country is filled with generous and friendly people. Some tourists in Bali even stated that locals of Indonesia are possible the kindest men you can find in the world. People in Indonesia don’t hesitate to help others, even though they are not their kind.

The same thing goes to the neighbors. The day of Eid Al Fitr wouldn’t be happy if your neighbors don’t. Because of that feeling of caring and giving, we don’t mind to send the foods to others.

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8 – Sending Parcels

You want to give something to your neighbors, but you happen to have not capability to cooking a decent food. What you can do? Sending parcels! Yes, parcels are common things to find in Indonesia. It’s easy to buy it also. You can just visit a convenience store and pick a suitable parcel for you.

According to one store, the price of parcels may vary from fifty thousand rupiahs up to more than three hundred thousand rupiahs.

9 – Visiting Cemetery

In the previous article, we told you about this thing called Ziarah. Ziarah is basically an activity when you visit the grave of your family member. Many other countries also do it as well. But in Indonesia, people are doing it often in the month of Ramadhan and the day of Eid Al Fitr.

People are doing this in order to remember their dead family member, and also pray for them to reach the Heaven.

10 – BakarIlo Sanggari

And now in this section, 10th point to the last one, we want to share about the traditional ways to celebrate Eid Al Fitr. You need to remember that these activities are not that common outside their areas. Let’s start with the first one called Bakarllo Sanggari, which is the traditional ceremony from East Nusa Tenggara.

In the procession, the people will build this kind of square lantern structure and put them near their house. They believe that Angels and Ancient Spirits will come and give their blessings.

11 – Tellasan Topak

The next one in the traditions in Indonesia during Eid Al Fitr is Tellasan Topak. This tradition comes from Madura Island, you know, the small area North of Surabaya, which is also a part of East Java province. Tellasan Topak is basically a procession to eat Ketupak together.

Sometimes, they do it with their own family. But in other occasions, they also do it with neighbors.

12 – Mariam Karbit

The form of creativity won’t hurt the kids, as long as they know what to do and the risk of doing them. In Pontianak, Kalimantan or known as Borneo island, you can find a tradition called Mariam Karbit. Just like its name, this activity involves using a cannon (meriam). But it’s actually not that dangerous.

On the Takbiran night, the people will use those cannons in order to celebrate the victory day. And yes, they are loud.

13 – Grebeg Syawal

If you ever visited the city of Yogyakarta, have you ever saw this Grebeg Syawal tradition? This tradition only happens during 1 Syawal. People will go to Masjid Gede Keraton Yogyakarta, bringing a Gunungan, which is the “mountain” consists of vegetables and also fruits.

This is the symbol of people’s loyalty to the Sultan.

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14 – Bakar Gunung

Gunungan in this procession and in Grebeg Syawal is totally different. Gunungan in this Bakar Gunung procession, which is the traditional way to celebrate Eid Al Fitr in Bengkulu, is actually some coconut shells that put together forming a tall Gunungan. And in the end, the people will burn them.

The procession has a meaning to show gratitude to Allah, and also a form of prayer to the dead.

15 – Tumbilotohe

The last one in the traditions in Indonesia during Eid Al Fitr is called Tumbilotohe. This interesting tradition can be found in Gorontalo. This tradition is related to family aspect. People of Gorontalo will put some oil lamps based on the number of family members. Sometimes it can be more than five.

Even though this is considered as an old tradition, it’s never gets old.

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