Muslims around the world celebrate the Idul Fitri holidays to mark the end of the Ramadhan fasting month. In Indonesia, Muslims celebrate Idul Fitri in different ways that reflect the nation’s rich diversity.
Indonesians typically celebrate Idul Fitri in their hometowns, traveling long hours and roads to reach them. This year, almost 30 million Indonesian Muslims took the seasonal homebound journey, popularly known as mudik, taking planes, trains, automobiles, buses and even motorcycles.
In some areas, Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadhan with a torch parade in their kampongs or villages.
On the first day of Idul Fitri, Muslims perform the sacred Ied prayer at the nearest mosque or field before gathering at family homes to ask for forgiveness and to share in the holiday feast. The second day is usually reserved for visiting friends and neighbors.
This year’s celebration was slightly different from last year’s, as the first day of Idul Fitri fell on a Sunday. Several churches rescheduled their Mass to the afternoon and opened their churchyards to be used as parking lots. The gesture shows that religious tolerance does exist here, upholding the national motto of “Unity in Diversity”. [yan]