Lebaran or Idul Fitri is the popular name for Eid al-Fitr in Indonesia and is one of the major national holiday in the country. Lebaran holiday officially lasts for two days in the Indonesian calendar, although the government usually declares a few days before and after the Lebaran as a bank holiday. Many individuals or families, especially Muslims take paid time off from their workplace during these days.
One of the largest temporary human migrations globally is the prevailing custom of the Lebaran where workers, particularly unskilled labourers such as maids and construction workers, return to their home town or city to celebrate with their families and to ask forgiveness from parents, in-laws, and other elders. This is known in Indonesia as mudik or pulang kampung (homecoming). It is an annual tradition that people in big cities such as Greater Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, or elsewhere, travel to their hometowns or other cities to visit relatives, to ask forgiveness, or just to celebrate with the whole family. The numbers of Indonesians that took mudik or pulang kampung travel is quite tremendous, the numbers is slightly equal with the whole population of Malaysia hit the road altogether, causing massive traffic jams and a sudden rise of demand and volume of intercity transportations.
On the Lebaran day, after performing Eid prayer in the morning, people dressed in their new or best clothes will gather to greet their family and neighbours. It is common to greet people with “Selamat Idul Fitri” which means “Happy Eid”. Muslims also greet one another with “mohon maaf lahir dan batin”, which means “Forgive my physical and emotional (wrongdoings)”, because Idul Fitri is not only for celebrations but also a time for atonement to ask for forgiveness for sins which they may have committed but was cleansed as a result of the fasting in the Muslim month of Ramadan.
Families usually will have special Lebaran meal served during breakfast, brunch or lunch; special dishes will be served such as ketupat, opor ayam, rendang, sambal goreng ati, sayur lodeh and lemang (a type of glutinous rice cake cooked in bamboo). Various types of snacks; roasted peanuts, kue, cookies, dodol and imported dates sweet delicacies are also served during this day, together with fruit syrup beverages.