Considering there are about 87,18% of Indonesian population or 207 million people who are Muslims, Idul Fitri (Eid al-Fitr) has become one of the most-awaited holiday seasons by the Indonesian. Idul Fitri is also more festive by the mudik tradition of which millions of people travel back their hometown to celebrate Eid with the family. No wonder, train tickets for public transportation during this period are always sold out even if the holiday is still 3 months away. Therefore, you’d better plan your mudik way in advance.
Idul Fitri is one of the best moment to rekindle your relationship with the family. The mudik tradition is primarily done to allow people to gather with their family and close relatives. Moreover, for you who spend your everyday busy working away from your loved ones, Idul Fitri is best spent with your family. If you don’t have any hometown to go back to, you can always take your family to go on holiday somewhere.
The official holiday for Idul Fitri in 2019 is expected to fall on 5 – 6 June 2019. This means the collective holiday will be quite long because it falls on Wednesday and Thursday. Usually, there are three joint holidays before and after Eid, therefore, the collective holiday of Idul Fitri is forecast to fall on Monday, Tuesday, until Friday (3 – 7 June 2019). With two Sundays (2 and 9 June), you get a total of 8 days of holiday for Idul Fitri 2019.
Meanwhile, the collective holiday of Idul Fitri 2020 will last even longer. Since the Eid al-Fitr is forecast to fall on Sunday and Monday, this will result in the holiday to start on D-4 to D+3. The holiday is expected to begin from 20 to 28 May, which means there will be 9 days of holiday for Eid 2020.
However, until the government issued an official decree, the dates mentioned above are subject to change. Despite the possible replacement of dates, you can still plan and book your holiday ahead by booking a flexible, refundable ticket which allows you to change the departure date.
Mudik has been done and around for a long time in this country. No matter how far the hometown is, people are always looking forward to going home during this time of the year. Apparently, it is believed the word ‘mudik’ is derived from the Javanese word ‘mulih’ and ‘dilik’ which means going home for a short moment. This tradition has been around since the Majapahit Kingdom in the year 1293 – 1527 AD. During that period, people go back home to clean their ancestors’ graves.
The term mudik was made popular since the 1970s, when the Indonesian capital, Jakarta has become popular. Since then, mudik is no longer just about cleaning up the ancestors’ grave but also to gather with family. Even for people who do not have a hometown to go back to, mudik is still considered the best period to gather with family and relatives, especially for those who are sick of the bustling city life.
Idul Fitri or Lebaran is not complete without ketupat. Ketupat is a diamond shaped rice cake wrapped in coconut leaves. Ketupat is often served with opor ayam—Indonesian style chicken curry—or any dishes cooked with coconut milk. Legend has it, that serving ketupat during Eid is first introduced by Sunan Kalijaga (one of the nine saints of Islam). Ketupat itself is an abbreviation for Javanese phrase ‘ngaku lepat lan laku papat’. Ngaku lepat means to confess your mistake, while laku papat means 4 acts.
In this instant, the four acts refer to asking for forgiveness; not only for the wrong sayings but also for the illegal behavior. Besides, ketupat served with coconut milk broth has its own meaning. In Javanese, kupat santen stands for ‘kulo lepat nyuwun kapunten’ which means ‘I confess myself guilty, I am sorry’. So, ketupat is not only tasty but philosophical.
Besides mudik and ketupat, there is another thing people are looking forward to during Idul Fitri, that is THR (Tunjangan Hari Raya—Holiday Bonus). The regulation for THR is even officially written in the Indonesian law. In Indonesia, this bonus is normally given from 14 to 7 days before the holiday starts. The bonus is provided to complement the extra expenses people spend during the Eid celebration. This bonus is not only given to Muslims, but to everyone.
The amount of holiday bonus is varied in different places. Generally, employees who have been in the company for at least one year are entitled to receive a bonus which is as high as their basic salary. However, for one who is just started working, usually, the amount will be given in prorate percentage and is calculated based on how long they have worked. This means, despite working for the same institution, the amount of bonus among employees will be varied.
Given the long holiday, Idul Fitri season is the best time for you to plan a holiday for. Especially, if your hometown is far from where you work, you will spend more on accommodation which sometimes, even your bonus won’t cover it. This is why planning your holiday ahead in advance is essential to get the best deal possible.
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