This Monday, all the Muslims in the world celebrated Eid al-Fitr, or Idul Fitri as we Indonesian call it. It is one of the two big annual Islamic celebration.
Eid al-Fitr is a celebration which is held after the Islamic fasting month of Ramadhan. During Ramadhan, we are obligated to do fasting in which we can’t eat, drink, engage in sexual activities from sunrise until sundown. Ramadhan is also believed to be a blessed month in which our deed are multiplied more than the other months, so you can pretty much see Muslims in their up-most best behavior in these times. We get closer to our God, Allah and also do super good deed like reading Al-Quran, feeding the poor, donations, stop gossiping and all the stuff good Muslims are supposed to do. It’s supposedly not easy since human have lust and desires that we have to fight against. After that month is over, we celebrate Eid al-Fitr to commemorate a closer bond between us and Allah.
What do we do for Eid al-Fitr?
Well in typical Indonesian fashion, we prepare waaaay ahead of the big day. It is common for us to buy new clothing/apparels. Some people even make their own clothes to match the whole family. Yes, the whole family. This officially makes family picture and selfies or usies a essential.
We obviously prepare food. Lots of them. The staple Eid food for Indonesian household is ketupat (steamed rice in woven palm leaf), opor ayam (chicken cooked in coconut milk), sambal goreng, rendang and others. The staple Eid snacks (oh yes, we do serve snack and eat them between the fatty, high cholesterol meal) is castangels, putri salju, nastar, ect. That’s why we gain weight again after we lose weight during fasting month, hahaha.
FOOD! Nom nom nom.
We go home! We migrate home! We all go back to our hometown or our parent’s hometown during the Eid al-Fitr break and spend the holiday with our family an extended family. People also visit close and far away relatives during the day. This will cause huge treaffic jam before and after the Eid celebration days, but I mean it’s nice seeing your whole family again after a whole year of busy activities by yourself. If the grandparents or relatives are deceased, then a visit to their grave is obligatory.
During Eid al-Fitr day, in the morning around 6-7 AM, Muslims held Eid al-Fitr prayer. We held them in the mosque and in the field (as recommended by Prophet Muhammad SAW). For me, it was praying it the field of Bogor Botanical Garden (which we usually go to). After the prayer, we hear the religious speech that can boost our moral, yeay!
We hug, kiss and shake hands with the people around us, especially in Javaneese culture we also do sungkeman (kneel in front of parents) to ask for forgivenes. We call, text, whatsapp, line, BBM all the people that exist in our phone book to give and ask forgiveness for the mistakes that had been made in the past. This is because we believe that in Eid al-Fitr, we are back to our pure self, so we don’t hold grudges again. It’s actually a good thing because if you are mature enough, you will mend your relationship with frienemies and enemies this year. *personal experience detected*
We prepare money or salam tempel to give to the small kids or cousins. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing little children eyes light up when you give them allowance money. Thank God it’s only once a year, hahaha.
Free money giveaway!
We go to tourist destinations with families. And just basically shut down the whole islands traffic condition.
In short, I love this holiday. Not only you can hang out with your super busy family, but you can also enjoy good food and make good memories. For more traditions all around the world, you can check out the Eid al-Fitr wiki page.
So do you have any unique Eid al-Fitr tradition?