Thinking of travelling to Bali during May and June 2019? Have you already booked your holiday and want to know if Ramadan in Bali will have any effect of your island time? The answer is probably not. Indonesia is home to the world’s largest Muslim population. However, Bali is predominately a Hindu dominated island with close to 90% of the locals practicing Hinduism.
When is Ramadan?
Considered the holiest of months in the Muslim calendar, ‘fasting month’ or Ramadan starts on Sunday 05 May and lasts until Tuesday 04 June 2019. It is followed by the biggest holiday in the Muslim calendar Eid al Fitr or Idul Fitri. A celebration of breaking the fast with close family and friends.
Why is it Important?
Ramadan is a month long fast where during the time from dawn until the sun sets, Muslims refrain from eating food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual contact. This only applies however to adults whom are not suffering from an illness, travelling away from home, menstruating, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, chronically ill or are elderly. Effectively, Ramadan will not have any impact on your time in Bali as you will find it generally goes unnoticed by tourists.
Will I Notice Anything Different?
Unless you love visiting a ‘local’ warung that is Muslim owned, you won’t notice much difference. As the times of eating are changed for practising Muslim’s during Ramadan some local warung’s will start selling in the markets earlier pre-sunrise for suhur* and close throughout the day. This is due to them re-opening after dusk to begin selling the iftar* meal service.
Our Tips for Your Holiday During Ramadan
1. ATM: you will find an increased use of ATMs by local’s and Indonesian tourists visiting from Neighbouring islands during the Eid-Al-Fitr celebration period post Ramadan. This is a time where we would recommend stocking up on some cash if you think you may need some extra change around June 01, 2019.
2. Exchange Rates: We can’t predict the future, however from previous experience we notice a slight drop in currency exchange rates during this period due. If you plan on getting money exchanged don’t be alarmed, it won’t impact on your rate drastically, however it is something to think of doing prior to Eid-Al-Fitr.
3. Traffic: Bali traffic is almost a given, at any time where the number of tourists increase, so too does the traffic on the roads. If you are planning a trip to West Bali, be mindful of increased traffic and thus longer travel time being required. This is due to local’s travelling to see friends and family to celebrate together on Bali’s neighbouring island of Java.
4. Try Indonesian Cuisine: If you consider yourself a foodie, then you’re in luck. During Ramadan many restaurants and cafes throughout Bali pride themselves on offering their own take on traditional Indonesian cuisine that is halal friendly. We recommend trying the many flavoursome dishes that take hours of careful preparation and are recipes handed down from generation to generation.
What Happens at the End of Ramadan?
Eid al-Fitr is just as important of a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims as Ramadan is. It’s the celebration marking the end of their month of fasting. During this time families and friends return to their villages or take a short holiday together to have quality time. You may notice that some stores close during this period between 05 June – 07 June, 2019 as Muslim shop owners taken the national public holiday to celebrate. There will still be the vast majority of market stalls, boutique shopping and restaurants available for you to enjoy. You will most likely not notice the impact on any activities or day trips you had planned.
What do Those Words Mean?
- Ramadan: a month long period observed by all Muslims worldwide to during which strict fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset.
- Eid-Al-Fitr/ Idul Fitri/ Lebaran: All referring to the major national Indonesia holiday that lasts for two days at the end of Ramadan where families come together to share food and spend quality time celebrating.
- Megibung: Breaking the fast by all eating together off the same plate, paper, container etc. It is an ancient tradition thought to strengthen brother and sisterhood within the village.
- Suhur: Pre-dawn meal before sunrise
- Iftar: Evening meal after sunset