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Idul Fitri

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Idul Fitri

The Islam holiday of Lebaran in Indonesia consists of two days of religious festivities. It is a national holiday in the country. Also known as Hari Raya, Lebaran is a period of celebration after the fast of Ramadan. The term Hari Raya is popular in different parts of southeast Asia. Hari Raya signals the end of the month of Ramadan, during which Muslims in Indonesia fast from sunrise to sunset for almost 12 hours every day. On Lebaran or the day of Eid Al Fitr, as Hari Raya is popularly known, the fast is broken, and families enjoy traditional feasts and invite friends and relatives. People often exchange gifts during Hari Raya. You will find that elderly people often give gifts to the kids in the family.

History and Traditions of Idul Fitri in Indonesia

If you trace the history of Idul Fitri in Indonesia, you will find that the religious holiday begins during the time of Prophet Muhammad. After Muhammad arrived in Medina from Mecca, he observed that people celebrated two days of merriment in a year. The Prophet took this as a sign from Allah and marked the two days of celebration. The first is known as Eid Al Fitr (Feast of Breaking the Fast), which falls on the 1st of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar, and the other Eid Al Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice), which falls on the 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah. The two feasts are celebrated in Indonesia, with Lebaran being the local term given to the two-day festivities of Eid Al Fitr.

Apart from the exchange of Lebaran or Hari Raya gifts, Indonesia has many traditions. It is a time for people belonging to the Muslim community in Indonesia to come home from their workplaces all over the world. Therefore, this is a time of temporary but significant human migration. This is known as mudik or pulang kampung. Another tradition is takbiran, which is observed on the night before Lebaran. During takbiran, many Muslims in Indonesia play beduk drums, and the Takbir is chanted in mosques around the country. There is also a tradition of receiving salary bonuses and paid leaves during this time.

On the two days of Lebaran, households follow the tradition of using Hari Raya decor and cooking special meals. It is a time of joy and celebration with friends and family, and this tradition is followed by everyone celebrating.

Hari Raya Puasa Observance

The Lebaran or Hari Raya celebration happens over two days. It usually occurs during summer.

Take a look at the dates of the Hari Raya holiday and Lebaran in Indonesia.


Date of Celebration

Lebaran 2022

May 2 to May 3

Lebaran 2023

April 22 to April 23

Hari Raya Shopping

Idul Fitri or the two days of Lebaran are a time of gifting, dressing up in traditional Islamic clothes and decorating homes. So, before Lebaran, people in Indonesia rush to the shops to get everything they need for the festivities. You can visit the many markets in Indonesia to find the best gifts and essentials you can get. Usually, during the last week of Ramadan, there is a flurry among last-minute shoppers, and the streets, markets and shopping centres are crowded.

There are some popular Hari Raya gifts that you buy in Indonesia. People get an opportunity to splurge during Eid Al Fitr or Lebaran because of the bonuses! Another item that you buy during Lebaran is clothing. This is the time to dress up in traditional Islamic clothes. Families may even wear matching clothes to take photographs!

If you are hoping to buy some Hari Raya decor, you can pick up some traditional wall art, lamps, and paintings for your home. You can also choose some beautiful floral arrangements.

Indonesia has some great markets where you can shop for Lebaran. Some of these include the textile market of Tanah Abang, Thamrin City, Pasar Baru in Central Jakarta, and Pasar Senen.

Hari Raya Food

Celebrating with a feast is a popular tradition during Lebaran. If you visit families during this time, you will find delicious Hari Raya food in every household. In Indonesia, some of the popular dishes that you can taste during this time include meat dishes, snacks, rice dishes, and sweets. You will also find many street stalls selling flavourful treats during Hari Raya.

At home, people often cook hearty, family dishes like Opor, a bowl of juicy chicken with coconut milk, galangal, lemongrass, coriander and other spices. Another such dish is Semur. It is a spicy beef gravy with tomatoes and soy sauce. Muslims celebrating Lebaran also enjoy platters like Sambel Goreng Ati, which has meat and potatoes, and spicy vegetable soups like Sayur Labu Siam.

Hari Raya food also consists of Ketupat, perhaps the most famous dish of this holiday. It is made of young coconut leaves and stuffed with rice before being boiled in water or, sometimes, coconut milk. The fragrant and glutinous Ketupat is enjoyed as part of the elaborate Hari Raya meal.

Places to Visit for Celebration

There are many places to visit when in Indonesia for Lebaran. Even though it is a time of homecoming, you can spend it exploring different spots with friends and family. Here are some places you can visit for Lebaran or Hari Raya celebrations in Indonesia.

  • Gorontalo

During the last three days before Lebaran, the Tumbilotohe festival is held at Gorontalo. It is a festival of lighting lamps. Lights are set up along the roads and all over Gorontalo, including along the rice fields. At dusk, all lamps are lit at once, making a spectacular sight. You can also attend the Beduk Takbiran Festival at Gorontalo and listen to the drums. The Gebyar Ketupat Festival is another attraction. It is a good parade held during this time.

  • Ronjok Sayak

Ronjok Sayak in Bengkulu is another tradition worth seeing. On the last evening before the Hari Raya holiday, people light torches after sunset. These torches are lit to commemorate the ancestors. You can visit with your family around Lebaran and take part in the tradition of lighting torches.

  • Istiqlal Mosque

Istiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta is a place of congregation for many of the Muslim community in Indonesia. During the days of Ramadan, the mosque serves free iftar to visitors. You can visit the Istiqlal Mosque to learn about heritage and history and engage in prayer.

  • Benhil Street

Hari Raya celebration or the days of Lebaran are incomplete without feasts. Benhil Street is known for its numerous food stalls where aromatic and tasty Indonesian dishes are served. You can visit with friends and family, and enjoy a bite of local foods. You will find numerous local dishes, snacks, sweets and even full meals at these stalls. The food stalls in Benhil Street are open throughout the day, and people from all over come to taste authentic Indonesian cuisine and street food.

Lebaran or Hari Raya is a time when you bond with your near and dear ones. It is also a time of holiday after the end of Ramadan. You can seek blessings from the elderly and wish well to your friends. Lebaran in Indonesia is spent with those you love and is a time for peace and joy.