Idul Fitri considered the most important Muslim festival 2012
Idul Fitri is the most important Muslim festivals in the Islamic calendar. Muslims all over the world celebrate it with great pomp on the end of Ramdan (a holy month). Just before Eid celebrations, during Ramzan, Muslims observe a month long fast, and also offer prayers in mosque. Some countries that celebrate Idul Fitri include Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen, Kuwait, UAE, India and Indonesia.
In Indonesia this celebration is not known as Eid, but referred to as Lebaran. It literally means ending or completion of something, in this case, Ramdan. Similar to other parts of the world, in Indonesia too, Eid is a time to visit families, and is referred to as ‘mudik’. Each year millions of Muslims are seen traveling in trains and buses to their homes. During homecoming, each family member expresses respect to their elders, and is called ‘sungkem’. Eid is not only a time for reconnection, but also an opportunity to mend relations with family, acquaintances and friends. They beg pardon for any trouble or offense caused during the past year. Gifts of money are also given to little children. In Indonesia, on Idul Fitri, ketupat is traditionally eaten.
There is a packet around rice, onto which coconut fronds are woven, which gets steamed till it is compressed forming a soft cake, and this is how ketupat is made. In Malaysia and Indonesia these are important part of Eid meals. Ketupat is not eaten simply because it is delicious, but also because it has a symbolic relevance. Uncooked rice symbolizes worldly passion. Just like coconut fronds wraps uncooked rice to make ketupat, the believer’s purified heart restrains worldly passions. This is the spirit of Ramdan. It is on the first day of Shawwal that Eid is celebrated, Shawwal happens to be the tenth month of the holy Islamic calendar. In 2012 Eid will be celebrated on 19th August by all Muslims worldwide.