May 24/25, 2020

Idul Fitri (commonly referred to in Indonesia as Lebaran) is the Indonesian form of the Arabic term Eid al-Fitr, and is one of the major national holidays in the country; the celebration that comes at the end of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting. The Arabic meaning of Idul Fitri is “becoming holy again”.

The Common Era calendar dates of the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, Ramadan, vary slightly each year, as the Muslim calendar (Hijriah) is based on a lunar cycle of 29/ 30 days.. The exact dates are determined in one of two main ways depending on different Islamic traditions: one method is based on the sighting of the new moon, while the other is based on astronomical calculations, and the results may differ by a day. An official announcement by the government is made on the eve of Ramadan and Idul Fitri so that public holidays can be standardized throughout the country.

The Idul Fitri public holiday officially lasts for two days, although the government usually declares a few days before or after as “collective leave”. It is customary for most Indonesians, especially Muslims living in big cities, to travel long distances to their hometowns and villages and gather with family during the holidays near the end of the holy month.

The Idul Fitri holiday period is characterized by attending communal prayers at the mosque or in large public squares, giving charitably, asking for forgiveness from people you have wronged, and feasting together when the fasting month is complete. On the morning or afternoon of Hari Raya Idul Fitri, Indonesian Muslims celebrate with a large feast with family members. This feast consists of various dishes that have been carefully prepared by members of the family.

Note: In consideration of the current Covid-19 outbreak, the Indonesian government has moved the four-day Idul Fitri collective leave from May 26-29 to Dec. 28-31, in line with other year-end holidays.

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