ramadan indonesia 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
JAKARTA - Indonesia's government has declared that the moon is not in the right position for the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan to end as expected on Tuesday, causing hungry disappointment in the world's most populous Muslim nation.
Indonesians, 90 percent of whom are Muslim, celebrate the end of Ramadan or Id al-Fitr festival with a feast and new clothes, but they have been forced to put their delicacies back in the cupboard for one more day.
Housewife Nur Arifah did not expect the announcement, which came late on Monday, and got up early that day to cook plenty of stewed beef for her family in Jakarta.
"My nephews and nieces have all gathered in my father's house to celebrate with new clothes, yet it's the wrong day.
"The market has already shut, so for me to be able to cook a new
dish...we might as well eat instant noodles for Id al-Fitr," she said.
Many other Muslims who were set to start eating during the day returned
to fasting between sunrise and sunset on Tuesday, while shopping malls
pushed their closing holiday to Wednesday.
The position of the moon determines the start and end of Ramadan, and
astronomers and Muslim bodies told the Indonesian government the moon
was too low to herald Id al-Fitr.
But members of Muhammadiyah, the country's second biggest Islamic group,
are still celebrating Id on Tuesday since some astronomers say it
falls on that day. Other nations, such as Saudi Arabia, are celebrating
Last year the country's highest Islamic authority admitted it had got
the direction of Mecca wrong, causing havoc since it meant mosques were
all facing in the wrong direction for devotees to pray facing Saudi's
holy Islamic city.
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