List of 17 Unique Traditions in Indonesia During Ramadhan
It’s always so interesting to talk about Ramadhan, the only month within one year that is so special not only for Muslims but others as well. During this month, many people are devoting to pray, getting more merit bonuses that they can get and promised if they do. Many Muslims intend to do positive things in order to become the true servants of God.
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However, even though they mostly do the activities from Islam religion, each region also has its own special ways to celebrate the holy month. From Sumatra island, Java, Bali, and the other islands have different traditions and processions which look so different and unique. Without further do, these are the unique traditions in Indonesia during Ramadhan.
1 – Sahur
The first one, and maybe the most important aspect of doing your fast in the unique traditions in Indonesia during Ramadhan is to eat Sahur. Well, Sahur is part of Islam religion, which is the recommended time to eat before starting your fast. In Indonesia, because there are three different times (WIB,WIT, and WITA), you need to know when is the limit to eat your meal.
Even though eating the meals before the dawn is really recommended, you can still do your fast even though you didn’t have Sahur.
2 – Sahur On the Road
This unique activity is called Sahur On The Road. This activity is considered not as a traditional tradition which brought up many years ago from history. But, this activity is the result of Indonesian people’s creativity to celebrate the month of Ramadhan by combining Sahur and On the road aspects.
Those aspects are to use your vehicle and go outside and eat Sahur together with your friends. It’s a lot of fun, especially if you do it together.
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3 – Ngabuburit
Ngabuburit is actually the activity to spend the time waiting for breaking fast time. So, you can do basically all the things, except the ones that can break your fast from the morning to the dusk. Usually, the most simple one in do things that related to your hobby like playing games, light sports, or maybe studying.
Also if you like, you can go to entertainment places like Timezone or malls in general, looking for stuff you wanted to buy.
4 – Takjil Hunt
Do you know what is this thing called Takjil? Takjil is basically any meal, any dish you can imagine, that served for breaking fast. Usually, some mosques are giving many Takjil to all visitors, so they can get many merits, goodness, and making those people happy as well. You can also buy some things that you like.
You can just ride your vehicle to the city roads, and find people who are selling their products like drinks, and meals.
5 – The Takjil Markets
Aside from getting Takjil randomly on the road, you can also go to a specific place called Takjil Markets (Pasar Takjil). Just like all markets in general, you can buy some things from there, mostly foods. About the variety of food, it can go a bit random, from the traditional meals to foreign meals like Japanese Takoyaki and others.
Also, Takjil Markets are used for gathering place. So they can buy the things they want, and eat them together with friends and relatives.
6 – Visiting Mosques
Also an important one in the unique traditions in Indonesia during Ramadhan is to visit the mosques. This holy month of Ramadhan can give so many positives things to All Muslims who can get the blessings. This month usually used by them for wiping out their sins by doing a religious activity.
Even though they can get merit from doing it at basically everywhere, they can get more merits if they do it in the mosques, the House of Allah.
7 – Sleeping All Day
Well, most of us like to sleep very much, especially if there’s nothing to do. All the tasks are done. All the school projects are done. All the obligations are already finished. So what else can you do? The simplest one is to sleep your day. Even though it seems to be highly unproductive, sleeping can greatly decrease your waiting time to breaking fast.
If you happen to have holidays before Eid Fitri, you can go sleep your body out. But, you must not sleep for long hours, because it can be very unhealthy. Two or three hours is enough for day rest.
8 – Giving Free Takjil
In Islam, people who are giving the Takjil or the meals to the people who are fasting are also getting all those merits as well. Based on this foundation, many people would like to spend their money in order to bring joy and happiness to other people by giving out Takjils. Usually, you can find them before breaking fast time, giving the Takjils to people passing by.
But in Indonesia, the ones who give them are not only the Muslims. Even Christians, Hindu, and Budha people are also doing it as well.
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9 – Waking People Up for Sahur
In Indonesia, there’s this tradition, which can be found on every corner of the country, to wake people up for Sahur. The ones doing it are the kids and teenagers. If you’re asleep, in your home, you can find their noises and chant for Sahur right at the Sahur time. They also use musical instruments that they have made themselves in order to make it merrier.
Those kids are usually doing this activity with their whole gang. So, you can expect it to be very entertaining, very lively, and joyful both for the kids and people around them.
10 – Buka Bersama (Breaking Fast Together)
Ramadhan time is also used to strengthen the bond between friends and family. They can breaking fast together, or known as Bukber (Buka Bersama). This activity is basically eating together, just like eating lunch at cafetaria, or dinner with your relatives, but only the time that is the difference, which is during breaking fast time, the dusk.
But the thing is, this activity is not only can be done in restaurants. Even in you home, as long as you do it together, it will have the same atmosphere.
11 – Gebyar Ki Aji Tunggal
And entering this part of this article, we’re gonna mention some of the traditional processions that people do only in this month of Ramadhan. The first one is Gebyar Ki Aji Tunggal, which is the traditional activity from Jepara, Central Java. What they do in this activity is making a carnival.
Well, the contestants are the people from nearby villages, wearing the unique clothes, marching, and sometimes dancing to Javanese music.
12 – Meugang
The next one in the unique traditions in Indonesia during Ramadhan is Meugang. This is the tradition in Aceh, where people are buying the cows meat, massively, and then cook them and eat them together with friends and neighbors. They should come to Banda Aceh directly in order to do this tradition, so they can’t transfer their money or anything.
However, if there’s a poor family in the village, the head of that village is making a donation from inhabitants, so that family can also taste the delicious cows’ meat.
13 – Dugderan
In Semarang, the people are also celebrating the month of Ramadhan with some kind of carnival. It’s called Dugderan. People in the carnival are more structured and arranged. Because, in this carnival, you can see people wearing traditional clothing from many tribes in Indonesia.
Also, during this show, you can also see one traditional culture from Central Java, which is this imaginary or mythology animal called Warak Ngendok.
14 – Malamang
Another one on the list is Malamang, which is the tradition of cooking together. Usually, moms are the ones who do it. So, after preparing the tools for making Lemang, which is the traditional meal in Melayu, they will make them together with others. Usually, the cooking procession is a bit long to make it more delicious.
This tradition is can be found in an area named Pariaman in West Sumatra province.
15 – Perlon Unggahan
Perlon Unggahan is another unique tradition that you can only find in Indonesia. This activity basically consists of doing Ziarah, which is the devotional visit to cemetery, to Bonokeling cemetery. But the unique thing is, they also bring an Ambeng, which is traditional food consists of cows meat and soup vegetables.
You can find this tradition in Banyumas, Central Java
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16 – Kirab Dandhangan
In the Kudus Great Mosque, you can witness the religious procession or activity called Kirab Dandhangan. The activity involves some Santris playing the Bedug musical instrument. In fact, the name Dandhang comes from the sound that coming from that musical instrument. There are also the other activities involved like attractions and art performance.
You can see Kirab Dandhangan mostly in Kudus area of Central Java
17 – Balimau
And the last one in the unique traditions in Indonesia during Ramadhan is a tradition called Balimau. This tradition is involving so many people who live around Minangkabau. Basically, this activity is to take a bath, but not using ordinary water, but lime water. So, after people gathering at some certain point, they will take a but together, and the water will be combined with lime. So you can see that place will change into an attraction immediately.
The purpose of this tradition is to cleanse the body from sins before Ramadhan comes, so they can be more prepared for devoting in the holy month.