Idul Fitri

At the end of the month of Ramadhan and its special religious observance is the Eid holiday, called Idul Fitri or Lebaran in Indonesia. This is the time for being together with parents, grandparents, neighbors, relatives near and far to ask forgiveness for many wrongs they have committed in the previous year. They express this wish in the phrase “Mohon Maaf Lahir Bathin” which means “forgive me from the bottom of my heart/soul for my wrongdoings in the past year.”

On this day, traditional and special foods are consumed, Lontong and Rendang become the main menu on this day. Big family gather to ask forgiveness and exchange greetings, new clothing is worn, children receive gifts of money. It is also customary to distribute money to children in the poor neighborhoods around our homes, usually Rp 2.000,- (or more) per child and it will bring huge smiles to their faces. Idul Fitri begins with mass prayer gathering s early in the morning at mosques, open field, parks and on major streets. It is amazing to see a huge people gather together to pray Eid prayer after a month fasting and today is the winning day for Muslims.

Mudik is one of a very unique tradition in Indonesia. People are travelling to their hometown for the holiday. The essence of the tradition is everyone has certain attachment to the place where he or she was born and raised. This is a strongly held tradition and travelers happily endure a lot of hardships and inconveniences in overcrowded motorcycles, cars, buses and trains on the way to their hometown or village for celebrating Lebaran.

Finally I woul like to say “Selamat Idul Fitri 1423H,” may Allah swt. bless us on this great holiday.

Source : Santunan Jadid, September, 2011

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