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Halal  Bihalal Tradition

Idul Fitri celebrations usually combine traditional, modern and even secular elements. Religious elements are reduced or replaced with cultural elements in general.

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Ahmad Najib Burhani

Idul Fitri took place May 13. However, a halal bihalal (post-Ramadan gathering) is usually held during the month of Shawwal, the 10th month of the lunar based Islamic calendar. Various government and non-government offices, schools, Islamic organizations, alumni associations or housing complexes usually take turns to hold halal bihalal. Many people hold the post-Ramadan gathering in person and some others hold it virtually.

Halal bihalal is part of a series of activities in the celebration of Idul Fitri. This is a unique Indonesian tradition that is not found in other Islamic countries. Although the name sounds Arabic, it is not an Arabic term. In grammatical terms, halal bihalal does not fit or does not follow recognized Arabic standards, so it does not have a clear meaning.

Editor: Syahnan Rangkuti
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