One of the most common ways to celebrate a big holiday is by having a feast. Lebaran is no exception. Many people celebrate this Islamic big day with a feast. However, each tribe does so in a different way. There are several well-known Lebaran feast traditions in Indonesia.
Each region in Indonesia has different culinary traits. That is also reflected in the way people celebrate Lebaran with food. Here are some of those unique Lebaran feast traditions in Indonesia. You might want to join one of them.
This tradition is practiced in Bali and Lombok. Essentially, the Islamic community cook a lot of food and then give them to their neighbors, regardless of their religion. Ngejot is proof that the two religions can live together in peace by showing mutual respect. In return, Hindu communities also do the same during one of their ceremonies.
In Aceh, celebrating Lebaran means they consume a lot of meat. This tradition was started when the sultan slaughters his cattle and distribute the meat to his subjects so they can enjoy delicious foods during the festive period. Today, Meugang has become a meat party during Ramadan, lebaran, and Eid al-Adha. Meugang is mostly a communal celebration because the meat is consumed with family, friends, or neighbors. This tradition is also to show their gratitude toward God.
People in Madura enjoy ketupat, the ubiquitous food during Lebaran, on the seventh day. In most places, ketupat are available since day one. In Madura, Tellasan Topak is held on the seventh day. People gather to enjoy ketupat and other side dishes together. A part of Tellasan Topak is bringing ketupat to your elders. Younger women usually will put ketupat on a tray and then bring them to their elders.
Many regions in Indonesia have a tradition to cook Lemang. It is cooking rice in a bamboo tube. In Bolaang Mongondow, it’s called Nasi Jaha. The rice, ginger, and coconut milk are wrapped in banana leaves and then put into a bamboo. The bamboo then, in turn, put next to fire or ember for hours until the rice is cooked. The fire is made by burning coconut fiber, so it might take a lot of time.
During major Islamic celebrations, people in Bangka Belitung usually eat together with their family. In the case of Lebaran, they usually eat after the Eid prayer. All food is put in one big tray. In Badulang, there is a rule that the young should serve the elders. You must eat using the hand, and no utensil is provided.
Indonesia has many feast tradition to celebrate Lebaran. You can try eating during Lebaran feast traditions in Indonesia to feel the celebratory atmosphere.