Idul Fitri: A Day of Religion and Festivity

Submitted by mumunmumun on 10 September 2010   •  Tips

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Tis the time to celebrate for all Moslems around the world. Today Moslems, including Vira, me and Tiva, celebrate the ending of the fasting month. It is a winning day for us after fasting for a whole month from food and overwhelming emotions and greed; a winning day to celebrate all the good that has been done and to be done in the future. It’s Idul Fitri.

Travel Indonesia: Bandung

What really happens on Ied Mobarouk or Idul Fitri or Lebaran day, especially in Indonesia, you might ask? Well, a lot of what we do is more tradition than religion. Indonesians have always celebrated Lebaran in a festive fashion just like it was Christmas. In morning, and we can say as early as 5 o’clock, people would get be for this festive day. They would put on their best dress, smell great, and for those ladies and a few queens I guess, put on their make up to look their best. Although it’s not party like do, but behind the veil and covered up clothes, it’s all dress to the 9, and of course about looking good and feeling good.

Travel Indonesia: Bandung

They would then pick a mosque or open filed to pray as it is highly suggested to do so. Some pick the closest from home, some like my family this year, take the extra mile and travel about 13 km to the city central. My mom loves to pray here since it’s where the Governor and wife pray. She was lucky though, we stood just behind the Governor’s and staff wives hehehehe…  This is Vira’s day in Jakarta. And as you can see, it’s a similar setting to what we have in Bandung and mostly in all Moslem settings throughout the country.

Travel Indonesia : Jakarta

The field is filled with people from near and far, all shapes, size, and age. In this field, we pray together following the Imams lead. During prayer, we are still, and quiet apart from for a few children crying, asking for attention from their moms. I know some would think it’s cruel to ignore their child for God, but as I was taught, it’s an act to show discipline during prayer. Children would have to learn.

After the prayer, we then have to listen to the preacher. It’s kinda strongly advised to listen to it. It is full of good messages. Personally, I usually find them a bit boring, they’re sometimes too morally speaking and not personal. But hey, underneath that paper the preacher is reading, there are a whole lot of good messages that I have to listen to. So I do.

Then it is time to ask and give forgiveness. It’s like confession for the Catholics. We all forgive, coming to a clean state, as clean as a baby’s sin. This is an important time especially amongst the family and most of all, your parents and siblings, the ones that you sin against most of all. Thus people are seen shaking hands asking for forgiveness, even between strangers.

Travel Indonesia: Bandung

Last but definitely far from least, is the gathering after the pray. Families gather to enjoy they feast they have prepared together and enjoy each other’s company. This is a time where people sacrifice time and money to gather with their families. They come from cities and countries just to sit around and catch up. On this day, there is a lot of food. Savory, special dishes, and cakes, cookies, sweet drinks and snacks are all out. My family is a small family of 4 but, with a mother that loves to cook delicious food and stuff it in her family’s face, there is so much food, I think I’m bored of chewing. And if you’re lucky to spend time with an Indonesian family, I’m sure you’d be as bored as I am.

Travel Indonesia: Bandung

And what does this day imply to those traveling the country? Well, first of all, on this day there wont be a lot of businesses open in the morning. No food sold, no shops open, and no public transport rooming around. I think the airlines are still flying and some business apparently can’t stop, yet I don’t think they’re in their optimal mode. City’s are look like they died in the morning, particularly at 7 am. So guys, better sleep in on this merry day. While big cities are seem slower, the small cities would seem faster. Most of the big city’s labors are from the smaller cities of the county. But don’t worry most of the activities will come back to life during mid day. Thus, you can then again enjoy another day in Indonesia after a lot of tradition!

PS: On behalf of and in the spirit of the day , I would like to apologize to all for any mistakes we have made in the past, for any wrong doing of our posts or twits or email or anything. Let us all start on a clean slate this year until the next Idul Fitri!

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