Vastavam web: From cleaning up relatives’ graves and sharing food with the poor to holding colourful torch-lit street parades, millions of Indonesians are getting ready to welcome the holy month of Ramadan in the world’s populous Muslim-majority country. Ramadan begins on Monday, with devotees fasting from dawn to dusk until Eid celebrations marking the end of the holy month.
In the conservative province of Aceh, Muslim families break their fast by eating meat together and sharing the meal with the poor, in a centuries-old tradition known as Meugang. As customers lined up in wait, butchers in the western province were busy at work, chopping bones and slicing meat. About 90 per cent of Indonesia’s 270 million people follow Islam but influences from other religions are deeply ingrained in the country, including “Nyadran”, a Javanese ritual heavily influenced by Hindu and Buddhist traditions.
In Tangerang, on the outskirts of Jakarta, hundreds of locals bathed in a spring or a river, taking part in a cleansing ritual known as “Padusan” to purify oneself before entering the holy month.