Ramadan in Indonesia, much like any country with a large Muslim demographic, is a crucial spiritual and religious event that should not be taken lightly. If you plan on visiting between the months of July to September, you may want to keep these things in mind to better appreciate and understand the widely embraced occasion.
1. Get your facts straight.
Ramadan stands for a time of spiritual renewal. Usually lasting for 29 or 30 days, it’s a lunar month devoted to sawm or fasting, one of the five pillars of Islam. During this period, Muslims abstain from any form of food and drinks during daylight hours or from sunrise to sunset. Before the sun rises, participants partake of the early morning meal called sahur, the only meal taken during the day. After sun down, the Muslims break the fast with meals called iftar. A festive event during nightfall, the faithful quite often celebrates this time by taking to the streets and sharing meals with neighbors, friends, and even passing strangers. More than just fasting, Ramadan also emphasizes the value of humility, patience, and spiritual submission.
2. Get familiar with the local custom.
As the community refrains from partaking food and drinks, activity during the day also slows down. This affects businesses as well as tourist spots and commercial centers, as most establishments operate with limited hours and working staff. Call for reservations with restaurants and venues you intend to visit to make sure they’ll be open. Also, book reservations ahead of time with a hotel that will maintain regular operating hours or can at least accommodate your travel needs. Most hotels, like Grand Quality Hotel Yogyakarta, equally serve Muslim and non-Muslim visitors in Indonesia with Ramadan discounts and deals that follow the fasting schedule and facilities for non-participating guests.
3. Stay awake.
While the community slows down during the day, much of the city streets come alive after nightfall when the faithful breaks the fast. Expect music, lights, brightly colored tents, and stalls as neighborhoods gather to dine together in the spirit of sharing. Some people even give away juice or sweets to passersby and some restaurants can accommodate you until 1 or 2 in the morning. Night markets may be a common thing anywhere and anytime, but nothing compares to the euphoric and celebratory mood all over the Indonesian streets on a late Ramadan evening.
4. Be considerate.
Though the observance of fasting is not a mandatory rule, be thoughtful of others especially when you’re out in public. Show your support by avoiding eating or drinking in open areas or places where the faithful may be observing the fast. Also keep noise levels to a minimum, and respect those who are using that time of the day for praying and recollection.
5. Get into the Ramadan spirit.
Prayer, fasting, humility, patience, charity, and kindness transcend the boundaries of religion. Regardless of your faith, don’t be afraid to let the community’s spiritual practice move you to participate in your own way. Who knows? As you journey through Ramadan in Indonesia, you might bring home something more than just a typical holiday experience.
About the author: Kara Ochoa is a web copywriter with over three years of experience in SEO and Search Engine Marketing. She frequently writes about travel and announcements by accommodation providers such as hotels and resorts, and on how these releases affect the travel and hotel industry.
Related Articles -
Ramadan in Indonesia, Indonesia Ramadan discounts, Grand Quality Hotel Yogyakarta, hotel Yogyakarta,