Celebrating Hari Raya Idul Fitri 2015 in Indonesia

Hari Raya Celebrations in Indonesia

Known as having the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia’s Hari Raya Idul Fitri, which is also known as Eid or Lebaran, is a national holiday and usually last for up to two weeks but the exact date is determined by observation of the moon by the locals. Eid Al Fitr 2015 is also a public holiday for two days with another two or three days in which companies give holidays and another five days of forced leave time. Other than having days off Indonesia gives a legally mandated salary bonus for all employees for Idul Fitri and is known as Tunjangan Hari Raya.

Even though the Department of Labour, Employment and Society has mandated this salary bonus, it does differ according to the different provinces. For example, in the region of Jakarta, the bonus given by the THR must be at least Rp 1 million and not less than the equivalent of one full month’s salary, which is paid in advance of Idul Fitri; this is in addition to the employee’s regular salary. It is a very serious infraction of the THR labour law to withhold this bonus and can be severely punished regardless of the status of the employer or their position.

The Idul festivities, also known as Lebaran are the biggest holiday in Indonesia and a time when most businesses have their best sales. During the month of Ramadan/Puasa, bazaars and shopping malls are full of people for several days before Idul Fitri. This of course causes a festive atmosphere across the country with traffic jams and mayhem similar to what you might find in the US during the Christmas shopping season. Even though shopping malls and bazaars are open, government offices and most banks are closed for the whole Idul festivities.

For wealthier non-Muslims, having this holiday break allows them to “escape” to either Australia, Singapore or even to a local hotel in order to avoid not having a driver or maid service. Hotels in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore have been very successful with their lucrative “escape packages” during the Idul Fitri or Lebaran.