This post is also available in: Indonesia
Written by: Meidiana Khadijah Maramis
Praise be to Allah (Alhamdulillah), the majority of Muslims worldwide celebrated Eid al-Fitr on April 22, which corresponds to 1 Shawwal in the Hijri calendar, after fasting during the month of Ramadan.
While the majority of Muslims commemorated the occasion on April 22, some in Japan observed Eid on April 21, as did Tokyo Camii and several Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia.
The Indonesian Muslim community in Chiba, Ruumuichi (Indonesian Muslim House of Chiba) held Eid prayers on both April 21 and 22, accommodating worshippers who followed either the Arabic calendar or the local government’s decision.
Eid Celebration With Ruumuichi
The community of Ruumuichi operates its mosque’s regular activities by renting space from a nearby building to serve as a satellite mosque.
On April 22, 2023, I joined Ruumuichi’s Eid prayer, which took place atみのり台市民センター(Minoridai Shimin Sentaa), a local government building in the Matsudo district of Chiba. The community rented a hall on the third floor for the occasion. For further updates on Ruumuichi’s activities, you can visit their Instagram account @ruumuichi.
The building is accessible for worshippers starting from 9 am, while the prayers commence at 9:45 am. Once the prayer concludes, the preacher conducts a religious study for the congregation, which concludes around 11 pm.
Enjoy Meals Together
After the Eid prayer, it is customary to gather and enjoy Indonesian Eid food. I have had the privilege of attending the Eid prayer at Masjid Indonesia Tokyo several times since arriving in Japan six years ago, where the congregation is always served with traditional Eid delicacies afterward.
Similarly, last year, I also prayed with Ruumuichi, and after the prayer, the congregation was offered a variety of Indonesian specialties, including Lontong (a cylinder-shaped compressed rice cake wrapped in banana leaves), Opor Ayam (a Central Javanese dish of chicken cooked in coconut milk), and various other typical Indonesian side dishes. The volunteers of the congregation prepare the menu, which has been pre-selected by the event committee team.
Events for Kids
The children were entertained after having their meal before Dzuhur time, with a storytelling session led by one of the worshippers, who happens to be a teacher in Japan. This was followed by an activity of creating Eid greeting cards, where the children were accompanied by their respective parents. Once the children’s program ended, the congregation gathered for Dzuhur prayers, and the event concluded thereafter.
How is This Year’s Eid al-Fitr Different From Last Year’s?
Last year, congregation prayer returned after the pandemic, but only a few people joined. However, this year more people are participating in mosque activities and joining the prayer in congregation after the coronavirus restrictions were relaxed. Although the progress is gradual, things are slowly returning to normal and it is relieving.
The Japanese government lifted the mask mandate in mid-March this year, but many worshippers still choose to wear masks, and I personally feel comfortable wearing one even outdoors.
Eid Mubarak, hope you all have a blessed Eid!