Idul AdhaOn June 29, 2023, in Indonesia, the Muslim holiday of Idul Adha, or the Day of Sacrifice, is celebrated.
Outside Indonesia, the holiday is known as Eid al-Adha. It is dedicated to showing reverence to God and helping others. Idul Adha marks the end of the pilgrimage, Hajj, to Mecca and is dedicated to the story of Abraham and his son.
Festival of Sacrifice
The main event of Idul Adha is a grand celebration in which all members of the local community can participate. The food during this holiday symbolically originates from the story of Ibrahim (Abraham) offering his son Isaac as a sacrifice to God.
Idul Adha honors Ibrahim's (Abraham's) willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of unconditional obedience to God's command. As we remember from the biblical story, before Abraham could sacrifice his son, God provided a lamb in its place.
On the day of Idul Adha, a Muslim is required to offer the best domestic animal as a sacrifice to God. Cows are often sacrificed, but goats and sheep are also commonly offered. This is why festive banners and printed materials for Idul Adha are decorated with cows and sheep in various stylized forms.
After the animal has been sacrificed to God, it is divided into three parts.
The first part is offered to the owner's family members. The second part goes to distant relatives. And the third part is distributed among the poor members of the local community.
On the day of Idul Adha, society strives to ensure that all its members are fed. It's a holiday that encourages Indonesians to not only enjoy it themselves but also help others.
Visiting the Mosque
Muslims visit the mosque on the day of the holiday. In the early morning of Idul Adha, Muslims engage in pre-dawn prayers at home. Later, they perform the Idul Adha prayer at the mosque when the sun is at its highest point.
Muslim men who do not come to the mosque on this day are considered sinners. For women, visiting the mosque on Idul Adha is not as obligatory. Travelers and non-Muslims are not allowed to visit the mosque on this day. After the mosque prayer, Muslims spend time conversing with each other.
On Idul Adha, Muslims are not required to wear special festive clothing. For this day, it can be formal enough.
For the most part of the year, Indonesians' diet consists of rice, tofu, plant-based food, and chicken, with a relatively small amount of meat. On Idul Adha, they consume meat, particularly beef, in large quantities.
Where to celebrate Idul Adha?
Since the overwhelming majority of Indonesians are Muslims, Idul Adha celebrations can be found in practically every corner of Indonesia. Jakarta, Bandung, and Palembang hold the most elaborate festivities on this day.
In Bali, there aren't many Muslims, but Muslim communities can be found in many areas of the island, especially in the tourist-heavy south.