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8 Meaningful Traditions to Welcome Ramadan in Indonesia

8 Meaningful Traditions to Welcome Ramadan in Indonesia


Unexpectedly, the month of Ramadan will arrive in a matter of days. The Indonesian people, who are predominantly Muslim, welcome this special moment with great joy. Each region in Indonesia has a different tradition of welcoming Ramadan. These traditions of welcoming Ramadan have been passed down from generation to generation to preserve culture and customs.

It is not surprising that every tradition Indonesian people carry in welcoming the holy month of Ramadan has a deep meaning, aiming to purify oneself, pray for and forgive each other, and build friendship in welcoming the presence of the holy month of Ramadan.

Here are eight traditions to welcome Ramadan in Indonesia that are full of joy and very meaningful:

Nyorog (Jakarta)

The indigenous people of Jakarta, or Betawi, still preserve many traditions today. One of them is the Nyorog tradition, or giving food parcels to older family members, be it parents or in-laws who live in different homes or local figures. The Nyorog tradition is not just an activity of sending food. This tradition of welcoming Ramadan is carried out as a form of respect and establishing friendship to strengthen brotherhood ties between people.

Cucurak (West Java)

Cucurak tradition, or in Sundanese, is interpreted as having fun and gathering with the extended family to welcome the holy month of Ramadan. Apart from gathering, the Cucurak tradition usually involves eating together on banana leaves while sitting on the floor. 

The menu includes nasi liwet (liwet rice), tempeh, salted fish, sambal, and fresh vegetables. According to Sundanese beliefs, the Cucurak tradition is an activity of gathering and eating together, a moment of friendship, and an invitation to be grateful to each other for all the good fortune God gave.

Padusan (Yogyakarta)

The people of Yogyakarta have a tradition of bathing called Padusan to welcome Ramadan. Padusan is a form of self-purification and cleansing of the body and soul in welcoming the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan. If you examine it more deeply, Padusan can also be interpreted as a moment to reflect and introspect ourselves on our mistakes. So, Muslims can worship in a condition of inner and outer purity.

Marpangir (North Sumatra)

Several areas in North Sumatra have a tradition of welcoming Ramadan known as Marpangir. The traditional bathing tradition uses leaves or herbs, such as pandan leaves, lemongrass leaves, roses, ylang-ylang, kaffir lime, lime leaves, vetiver, and areca nut flowers as fragrances. The people of North Sumatra carry out the Marpangir tradition as a form of cleansing before entering Ramadan.

Photo: Malamng tradition to welcome Ramadan in West Sumatra (Shutterstock/octavianus wahyu)

Malamang (West Sumatra)

The people of West Sumatra routinely carry out the tradition of welcoming Ramadan. Local people will perform Malamang as a tradition to welcome Ramadan with joy. The Minangkabau people carry out the Malamang tradition by preparing traditional lemang food to strengthen their sense of togetherness.

Meugang (Aceh)

The tradition of welcoming Ramadan in Aceh, namely the Meugang or Haghi Mamagang tradition, is also very interesting. A tradition of welcoming Ramadan that has been carried out since the days of the Aceh Darussalam Kingdom or has been going on since the 14th century.

The Meugang tradition involves cooking beef, goat, or buffalo the day before Ramadan. All family members, relatives, or orphans eat the processed meat. In addition to welcoming Ramadan, the Meugang tradition is also carried out when welcoming Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr.

Mattunu Solong (West Sulawesi)

The people of Polewali Mandar, West Sulawesi, carry out Mattunu Solong's tradition to welcome Ramadan. The tradition of welcoming Ramadan is celebrated by lighting a lamp made from candle nuts, stacked with kapok, and then wrapped around a piece of bamboo. The lamps are attached to the fence, yard, stairs, entrance, and kitchen.

According to belief, the Mattunu Solong tradition aims to obtain blessings from the Creator in welcoming the holy month of Ramadan. In addition, this tradition is also carried out as a request to God Almighty to always give you health and long life so that you can carry out your fasting worship smoothly.

Megibung (Bali)

Muslims in Karangasem Regency, Bali, also have a tradition of welcoming Ramadan called Megibung. The Megibung tradition involves cooking and eating together while sitting in a circle. The Megibung tradition has a unique food arrangement. Rice is placed in a container called gibungan, while the side dishes are served on a karangan. The Megibung tradition aims to reinforce brotherhood and togetherness.

Cover: Balinese Megibung tradition to welcome Ramadan (Shutterstock/Odua Images)

Kemenparekraf / Baparekraf
Kemenparekraf/Baparekraf RIFriday, March 15, 2024
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