What is Ngabuburit and Why Everyone Does It?


If you think about it, fasting is logically not a pleasant thing to do. You cannot eat and drink for the whole day while still have to perform your daily activity as normal. And yet, Muslims everywhere celebrate the holy month of Ramadan comes. During this month, they are fasting while also having many traditions such as ngabuburit.

There are many temporary bazaar during Ramadan. via Instagram/kodim0833kotamalang

This informal tradition is basically having fun prior to breakfasting or iftar. This is not scripted in Islamic law but people in Indonesia do it at large. Here is what you need to know about ngabuburit.

Etymology of ngabuburit

Masjid and Alun-alun Bandung. via Instagram/gnfi

So, the term ngabuburit has been used for a long time. There is a news article in a newspaper telling stories of people doing it in Bandung in the 80s. The term ‘ngabuburit’ does come from Sundanese language, stemming from the word ‘burit’ which means afternoon. The timeframe is probably from 15.30 to 17.30. This time is great for leisure activities because the sun isn’t too scorching.

Unrelated to Ramadan

Embung Ngalnggeran. via Instagram/adi_mrizal

Initially, ngabuburit has nothing to do with Ramadan. It’s just Sundanese way to enjoy the afternoon after a whole day of working hard. However, the meaning slowly shifting into ‘spending time for fun before iftar’. These afternoon activities are great, especially if you do it with friends. At the very least, you will get distracted from the fact you haven’t consumed anything that day.

Positive and negative

Illegal racing were common during ngabuburit. via Instagram/pecandu.modifikasi

Over the years, ngabuburit has been done with many activities. Some are good, some are bad borderline dangerous. You might find many illegal motorcycle races during Ramadan. However, there are also many positive outputs like Islamic studies, reading the Quran, or simply cook for iftar. There is something oddly enjoyable when you can spend your last hour or so during fasting with social activities.

Today’s ngabuburit

Hunting for food. via Instagram/masjidjogokariyan

Nowadays, ngabuburit is mostly a leisure activity prior to iftar. Many people do that by hunting for delicious food because there are many street food bazaars during Ramadan. Others opt to shop in malls. Some people who prefer serenity goes to more secluded places like beaches, hills, or lakes. There is no basic rule of ngabuburit, you can do it the way you like it.

Enjoying sunset at Malimbu Hill. via Instagram/aliflifetime7

There is no easy way to describe ngabuburit as it is actually a very broad term. However, when you are in Indonesia during Ramadan, you can see many people spend their afternoon having fun with friends and families.

Indonesia Ngabuburit Ramadan