Eid ul Fitr, which is often abbreviated as Eid is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. In Indonesia, Eid is known as Idul Fitri (or more informally as Lebaran) and is a national holiday. According to Wikipedia (http://en.

wikipedia. org/wiki/Islam_in_Indonesia), as the largest Muslim population than any other country in the world, with approximately 202. 9 million identified as Muslim (88.

2% of the total population) as of 2009; lots of Indonesian celebrate Lebaran. In Indonesia, it is common during this period for people to engage in “mudik” activity.It is the largest temporary human migrations nationally and an annual tradition where people in big cities such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Semarang, Yogyakarta or elsewhere, travel to their hometowns or other cities to visit relatives, to request forgiveness from parents, siblings, in-laws, relatives, neighbors and elders; or just to celebrate Eid together with the whole family. The mudik activity usually starts around 10 days before the D day. On the D day, usually Muslims will go to the open field, community centers or at mosques to perform Eid prayer.

After the prayers, Muslims will hold large communal celebrations in homes, community centers or rented halls. In Indonesia, the gathering involves a special ritual which is called halal bi-halal. During this, people visit their elders, in the family, the neighborhood, or their work, and show respect to them. Javanese also do sungkeman as one of the Lebaran’s ritual. In this kind of ritual, the Javanese Muslims will show their respect to the elders by kneeling down and pressing their faces to the elders’ knees.

The purpose of sungkeman ritual and halal bi-halal are about the same; to request forgiveness from others.Besides, they will also seek reconciliation (if needed), and preserve or restore harmonious relations. However, there is another ritual where Muslims visit the graves of loved ones.

During this visit, they will clean the grave, recite Ya-Seen, a chapter from the Qur’an and sprinkle rose or jasmine over the graves. All these rituals are done as a means to ask God to forgive both the dead and the living for their sins. Then the rest of the day is spent visiting relatives or serving visitors.

When visiting someone’s house, there will be some special dishes to be eaten. They are ketupat, rendang, sambal goring krecek and kerupuk.Usually all of the family members had prepared and cooked them a day before, then serve them to the visitors on the D day.

The moments of preparing and cooking all the dishes which will be served on Lebaran will reflect the togetherness among the Muslims and the family in welcoming and celebrating Eid. In some cultures, it is also common for children to be given small sums of money (Eidis) by adult relatives or friends. As the adults, it is a form of gratitude to God for the blessing. Besides, giving money to children may create more blissful atmosphere of the day.


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