Indonesia has numerous different cultures and each of them practices various unique traditions. This makes Indonesia a large melting pot where you can find a lot of interesting practices for different occasions including Ramadan.
In 2020, it is recorded that the Muslim population in Indonesia reached 229 million people which is around 87,2% of the total population. These Muslim populations spread throughout the country have their own unique practice to welcome Ramadan depending on where they live.
In this article, we will learn some of the unique traditions from different areas in Indonesia, including Bintan Island.
Kenduri Ruah, Penyengat Island, Bintan
Kenduri Ruah or Tahlil Jamak is a tradition where people pray together at the Sultan Riau Grand Mosque, which is the icon of Penyengat Island to welcome the month of Ramadan.
Muslims from all around Bintan and other islands of the Riau Islands area will gather at the Grand Mosque and pray together, visit the Royal Tomb and other iconic places on Penyengat Island.
Parents will also bring their children to visit Penyengat Island during this occasion to introduce them to the famous places on Penyengat Island and other nearby destinations including Tanjungpinang.
Balimau, West Sumatra
( Source of photo by http://artnculture.ilmci.com/wp/2017/05/04/upacara-adat-balimau-minangkabau/ )
Balimau is a tradition where Sumatran people take a bath using water combined with lime. This tradition is practiced mainly by people who live near a river or bath-house.
Historically, the people used lime as the substitution for soap since they have the same cleaning qualities. The West Sumatran people practice Balimau before Ramadan so they can welcome the Holy Month with a cleaner body and soul.
Nyadran, Central Java
( Source of photo by https://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkas:Plabengan_nyadran_Cultural_02.jpg )
A few days before Ramadan, most Muslim families will go and visit their family members' graves, in Central Java this tradition is called Nyadran. During Nyadran, people will pray, clean, and spread flower petals on the graves.
They will also read the Quran together at their homes which is closed with eating together. Nyadran originally comes from the combination of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islamic culture.
Munggahan, West Java
( Source of photo by https://nusantaranews.co/tradisi-munggahan-dalam-masyarakat-sunda-sambut-bulan-ramadhan/ )
To welcome the holy month of Ramadan, Sundanese people in West Java will gather with their family or neighbors to have a meal together. This tradition is used as the moment to meet and gather with your whole family before Ramadan comes.
Sundanese people will usually do Munggahan around a week before Ramadan. They will also take this chance to apologize to each other to get rid of any unresolved problems with their closest ones.
Dugderan, Semarang, Central Java
Dugderan is a tradition from the city of Semarang, Central Java. To welcome Ramadan, the people will hold a parade where they will have dance performances, carnival, and drum play.
This tradition has been carried out since 1881 in Semarang. At the Dugderan parade, the people will parade a mascot named Warak Ngendog around the city. The mascot is in the form of a goat with a dragon's head with scales made of colored paper.
The Dugderan Festival is held as a sign of gratitude and to celebrate the coming of Ramadan.
Bintan Island as a part of Indonesia also has many other unique traditions and customs during Ramadhan. Therefore, we recommend you to visit during this Muslim holy month to experience a different vibe of exploring the beautiful Bintan Island.