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Ramadan in Jakarta may be a challenging trip for a tourist, but it can also be a fascinating, uplifting, and festive experience. So if you’re planning on visiting the Indonesian capital from July to August, keep in mind these helpful reminders to make your journey worthwhile and more meaningful.
Do know when it’s happening and how it’s honored.
Ramadan is welcomed by the Muslim faith every ninth month of the Islamic calendar. This period is celebrated with a time for fasting and prayer as well as for charity, forgiveness, and spiritual submission. For 29-30 days, only 2 meals are taken, one before the sun rises and the other after it sets. On early mornings, the faithful partakes of the sahur or breakfast. This will be the last meal they will eat until the sun sets. Come nightfall, the community then breaks the fast with meals called the iftar. Since it is based on the Islamic calendar, the Ramadan has no fixed date of occurrence. So for 2012 alone, the event will take place from the 20th of July to the 31st of August.
Don’t wait until the last minute to make travel and tour arrangements.
With most of the city population participating in the fast, the metro’s activity slows down. This means less operating hours, working staff, and establishments open. Do your research and make sure to book a hotel that will cater to your accommodation needs, and whether they take part in the Ramadan tradition or not. For an even cost-effective measure, watch out for special packages or Ramadan deals in Jakarta that offers discounted hotel rates so as not to discourage travel and tourism.
In addition, some establishments in the city may also be open for a limited period of time. Plan ahead, get in touch with points of interest, and make necessary reservations. These hold true for restaurants, landmarks, and tourist attractions, so be sure about their respective schedules to avoid affecting too much of your itinerary.
Do adjust your body clock for some nighttime excitements.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking a visit to the city can be boring during Ramadan. You’re just not getting up at the right hour. The communities may slow down during the day, but their festive spirits come alive as soon as the sun sets. Witness touching views of thanksgiving, charity, and sharing as neighborhoods take to the streets and share meals with each other. You can even walk by and get an offer of hearty meals, juices, and sweets.
Don’t be careless and insensitive.
The Muslim community equally welcomes non-Muslims in their districts even as they honor a much-embraced the practice of worship. While you and your party are not mandated to follow, you are impliedly asked to be sensitive about their faith. Don’t spoil their devotion by consuming too much food and alcohol or making too loud noises, especially in public areas. The faithful is not just using this time to slow down, but also to sincerely meditate and pray, so adjust your public behavior accordingly and respectfully.
Do consider participating.
Regardless of your religion, you can’t deny that there are times when you feel the need to ease up and think about your life’s journey so far. This spiritual event is an ideal opportunity for that. While you may not share the same faith, a time of reflection, as you stay for Ramadan in Jakarta, may just bring about an inspiring experience you’ll equally appreciate.
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