Idul Adha in Jakarta

Selamat Idul Adha! 

Yesterday we celebrated Eid al-Adha, (or Idul Adha as it's known here in Indoneisa.) 

Idul Adha in Jakarta is a big deal, second only to Eid al-Fitr (Idul Fitri), which marks the end of Ramadan (Lebaran), as a major religious holiday. Idul Adha commemorates the willingness of Ibrihim to sacrifice his own son in obedience to God. Traditionally men and women dress in white, and cows, goats or sheep are sacrificed. The meat is then butchered and given to the poor. 

Admittedly, our celebration was non-traditional in the sense that it involved neither sacrifice of domestic animals nor any ritual prayers, but instead, a trip to the newly opened H&M and lunch at a Japanese restaurant. But still.  

But the night before the big holiday, well that was something. Jalan Sudirman, the main thoroughfare that cuts through the city was closed to traffic late Monday afternoon, as thousands of drummers gathered to welcome nightfall and the beginning of Idul Adha. 

Of course Stella and I wanted to be part of the action, so out we went!

The mood was buoyant, and we got lots of high fives and "Hello Misters!" We stayed out till dark, taking advantage of a rare opportunity for an evening stroll. Then we came home and watched as a parade of thousands of torches and the occasional fire breather passed along the street below our building. 

Prayer songs rang out all night long, and we slept fitfully but happily. 

Jakarta, sometimes you just kill it.