Just like the Christmas celebration for the Christians, Silence Day for the Hindus, Vesak for Buddhist, Eid-Al-Fitr celebration is a day that is considered as a day of celebrating a victory. Victory after a month of fasting in Ramazan. In this year, Eid-Al-Fitr falls in June. This feast is awaited by all Muslims in the world, not to mention Muslims in Indonesia. The commencement of Eid-Al-Fitr celebration will be marked by the takbir that is echoed by every mosque, ie at night after breaking the fast on the last day of Ramazan. In Indonesia, some mosques will also make “takbir keliling”, a crowd of mosques will walk around the village on foot to hold fire torches while continuing to raise the takbir.

All family members collecting in the grandparent's house.
All family members collecting in the grandparent’s house.

Unlike Eid-Al-Fitr celebration in other countries, Eid celebration in Indonesia becomes a very special moment to gather with family. Homecoming tradition occurs every year before the day. Not only Muslims, people who have other faiths also participate and enliven. Any house that has an elder member, will do an open house. While children to adult neighbors will go around visiting one by one the house that organizes the open house. In addition, children who live separately will visit and gather at the parent’s house. If the parent has passed away, the eldest child house will be chosen to be a place to gather. Elders will prepare “fitrah” (some money that will be given to children). The host who organizes the open house will also provide the best dishes they have for the guests. The elders will sit in a certain position in their home and guests will be queuing up to their sitting position. On the other hand, the younger person will bend over to get apologize from older. Besides giving forgiveness and forgiveness, the older ones will also give their prayers to the younger ones.

Doing “Takbir Keliling”.
Doing “Takbir Keliling”.

The diversity of cultures in Indonesia, participated in the celebration of Eid-Al-Fitr itself. Generally, the celebration of Eid (open house, halal bi halal to apologize to each other) is done immediately after the completion of the prayer, yet there is a slightly different celebration in my village. Open house and halal bi halal celebrations will be held on the 2nd or 3rd day after the prayer. Decision-makers about the timing of the execution will be carried out by the oldest person in our village. This tradition has been done for generations and is still carried out until now. Relatives who live in other areas and will attend the open house will also adjust to these conditions. About ten years ago, a day before the day, every home would be busy preparing food to be used for the tradition of “kondangan” (gathered in the eldest person in the village by bringing their own cuisine, do some prayers and afterwards everyone has to bring home dishes from neighbors or exchange dishes). Not only that, every house will also serve “pancen” (make a complete cuisine with beverages served on the table which aims to provide a treat for ancestral spirits who are believed to be home at the time of Eid-Al-Fitr). Currently, the tradition is not run anymore because it is considered to deviate from Islam’s doctrine.

The moment of the holiday is not only used as an event to strengthen the ropes of brotherhood, bringing relatives who have been scattered because living separately. It also becomes a time reunited with old friends. Eid is not only identic with a return to fitrah but also it serves as a moment to share happiness especially for Indonesian and generally or all Muslims in the world. What’s the tradition in your place? You may share your thought in the comment box.

A waiting line toward the eldest member in the family.
A waiting line toward the eldest member in the family.
The Younger one bend over to get apologize from older.
The Younger one bend over to get apologize from older.




Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Indonesia.

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