Sunday, September 28, 2008
Iftar at Istana Plaza Shopping Mall Bandung
In about three days' time, Moslems all over the world are going to celebrate Iedul Fitri, one of the two major Moslem holidays. Prior to Iedul Fitri, Moslems have to observe a whole month of fasting, called Ramadan (after the name of the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar in which this observance has to be performed).
During Ramadan, Moslems fast, i.e. refrain from eating and drinking anything from true dawn until sunset. Before performing the fast, Moslems are encouraged (some say obliged) to have a very early breakfast called suhur/sahur, and upon sunset (maghrib), they break the fast with a meal called iftar. Apart from refraining from eating and drinking, the Ramadan fasting is also a month of good deeds, benevolence, and patience.
For Moslems, the fasting month of Ramadan is considered as a spiritual training camp where they learn patience, sacrifice, and humility to purify their spiritual life. In relation to this, Iedul Fitri is considered as the day of victory against their own evils and impurity.
I took the above photo at iftar time today at Istana Plaza Shopping Mall's food court, Bandung. Iftar time is usually a busy time for restaurants and diners as many Moslems who are out and about go to these places to have their iftar. Note, however, that most Moslem families in Indonesia prefer to have their iftar at home where the homemakers usually prepare special foods for it.