Ramadhan Phenomenon in Several Cities in Indonesia

In several big cities in Indonesia where there are many Muslim people, for example in Jakarta and Bandung in which I’ve stayed for quite some years, the one month of Ramadhan usually has different and unique phenomenon. Since many people are fasting, most food stalls on the streets are closed, only several places are open, for example the restaurants in malls and some warteg. There are not many lunch choices during this fasting month. Some restaurants which are open also put on some curtains or blinds on their windows.

Curtains on a restaurant

Curtains on a restaurant

On the contrary, in the afternoon when it is nearing the time for people to break the fast, there are a lot of food sellers, especially those who sell traditional cakes, fries, kolak, fruit ice, and some other common food people eat to break the fast before having dinner. On the streets there are many food stalls selling food only during the fasting month. Usually they are just scattered along the streets, but sometimes there are also some temporary food markets like the one I found near the Bendungan Hilir market in Jakarta. Some foods sold during this fasting month are not that easy to find during the “normal” months, for example kolak. Kolak is a dessert comprised of banana or biji salak/candil in a thick soup of coconut oil and sugar. It is very popular during the fasting month.

Traditional cakes

Traditional cakes

Pempek

Grilled Chicken and Fish

Grilled Chicken and Fish

Kolak

Kolak

Sugarcane juice

Sugarcane juice

In the supermarkets there are many boxes of dates being sold near or during the fasting month. There are also cans of biscuits and cookies being stacked which are not that commonly seen during normal months. Parcels are also common item to be seen in the supermarket during the fasting month.

Cans of Biscuits

Cans of Biscuits

Cookies

Cookies

Parcels

Parcels

The malls and markets usually have events and sales and special decorations during the fasting month. Lebaran themed clothes are also in season.

Lebaran Sale

Lebaran Sale

Camel-shaped "Barongsai"

Camel-shaped “Barongsai”

Lebaran themed clothes

Lebaran themed clothes

Lebaran themed clothes

Lebaran themed clothes

Lebaran decoration at Grand Indonesia

Lebaran decoration at Grand Indonesia

Lebaran decoration at Grand Indonesia

Lebaran decoration at Grand Indonesia

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