Eid is a major holiday in Indonesia. Students have one to two weeks off from school and Muslims take paid time off from work during the holiday. There is a tradition called mudik (homecoming) in which people travel to their hometowns several days before Eid to celebrate with their entire families and to visit relatives. Everyone in the family helps prepare for the open house that takes place after the Eid prayer by cleaning the house and cooking the delicacies for the celebration. The most popular traditional sweets are the pineapple tarts called “nastar”. The thousand layer cake is also famous among others.  

On the eve of Eid, after maghrib prayer, there is a parade called “pawai obor” where people celebrate the coming of Eid by banging drums, carrying torches and lighting up firecrackers while saying “takbeerat” in the streets of the neighborhood. On the first day of Eid, all the men and women go to a grand masjid (Masjid Raya) in their neighborhood for the Eid prayer. After the prayer, everyone shakes hands with one another and asks for forgiveness which continues on all the way back to the house. Neighbors invite each other over for food and drink. Kids receive Eid money called “uang raya/angpao/thr” in colorful envelopes.  

Once they arrive at home, people practice a tradition called “sungkeman” which is to ask everyone in the family for blessings and forgiveness starting from the eldest to the youngest. The asking and giving of forgiveness during Eid is a distinctive practice among Indonesian Muslims. After that the whole family eats together and waits for the other family members and relatives to visit them. People also visit their loved ones’ graves to clean up and recite prayers (hadiah/al fatihah/dua).

Composed by Filiz Arslan