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Jakarta Post

Lebaran in the time of corona, celebration like no other

  • Julia Suryakusuma

Jakarta   /   Wed, June 3 2020   /  11:20 am

I have a confession to make. I really hate Lebaran or Idul Fitri, the celebration at the end of Ramadan, which this year fell on Sunday and Monday. How come? Like other religious celebrations, such as Christmas and Imlek (Chinese New Year), Lebaran has become distorted from its spiritual meaning into empty ritualism, hypocrisy and often, an orgy of consumerism. Asking for forgiveness during Lebaran is related to the spiritual purification that we should be undergoing during Ramadan. It is not just about physical fasting but also about abstaining from sex (during daylight hours) and refraining from negative emotions, bad deeds, words and even thoughts. So, that is why we say maaf lahir batin (forgive me, body and soul) following selamat Idul Fitri (happy Eid). However, it has merely become a social greeting that we exchange with family, friends, colleagues and neighbors, devoid of meaning...