Must Eat Food in Indonesian Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha

Like Turkey and Thanksgiving or Christmas and cake, Indonesian Muslims also have favorite food for their two special holidays. These two holidays are Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha. Eid Al Fitr is where we celebrate moments after we have fasted for one month. Meanwhile, Eid Al Adha is a celebration of Hajj or pilgrimage in Mecca. As a result of cultural assimilation, Indonesians developed a distinct way to celebrate the holiday.

Cooked Ketupat

In Eid Al Fitr, Ketupat is a must-eat food. Ketupat is rice cake. What makes this rice cake unique is the shape. Ketupat is made of coconut leaves. It is woven in a certain way to give this some sort of square shape.

Just before you close the shape, insert washed rice in it. After that, boil it for around 30 to 40 minutes. Ketupat is frequently paired with food that contains coconut milk. For example, Opor Ayam or Rendang. This pair could be different depending on the region. However, Ketupat is still the main dish for Eid Al Fitr. The other food is just a side dish.

Satay, you can grill various meat there.

In Eid Al Adha, we sacrificed animals such as lambs or cows. Camel is actually on the suggested list too. However, due to the lack of camel population in Indonesia, lambs and cows are the main meat sources in Eid Al Adha. The meat is mainly given to the less fortunate family. However, because there is so much meat, everybody could enjoy it on the special day. On this day, I think every region has its own way of cooking the meats. My family lives in East Java. Making Satay with bean sauce is the first thing we always do on the day. We will make another dish tomorrow if we still have meats left, such as Rawon, Gulai Kambing, or Soto.

Rawon, East Java, Indonesia specialty dish. Source: Tribunnews.com
Soto Kambing Illustration. Source Merdeka.com.
Gulai Kambing, source: Tribunnews.com

In conclusion, foods that we consume on the days are meant to be eaten together with the family. In Eid Al Fitr, Indonesian have this tradition called Lebaran. Many people are going back several days before the day. So, they could enjoy the dish made by their family in their hometown. On Eid Al Adha, the volume of people going back to their hometown is not as massive as in Lebaran. However, those who can or can’t going home still create the dish to be enjoyed with family or with their community.

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