The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began on May 27, will come to an end at sundown on Sunday, June 25. During this time, operations in Indonesia may come to a virtual standstill as Muslims gather to pray and celebrate with family and friends. While practices vary by area, Eid al-Fitr celebrations are likely to have an impact on many businesses, stock exchanges, and services (including administrative services) that will close or significantly reduce their hours of operation on Sunday evening and potentially into Monday. As this period is typically marked by increased travel, heavy road traffic after sundown along with other transportation disruptions (crowded airports, etc.) is to be anticipated.
Indonesia is home to a large population of hardline Muslims, who have proved to be intolerant of any perceived disrespect of their religion. Tens of thousands of Muslims gathered in Jakarta in April 2017 (following other large related demonstrations in previous months) to demand the imprisonment of the capital’s former governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama for misquoting a verse from the Quran. Sporadic unrest may break out in Muslim-majority areas if practices are not respected, especially in Jakarta, Maluku, and Central Sulawesi.
Eid al-Fitr celebrates the conclusion of 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting and remains one of the most important dates on the Muslim calendar. Generally speaking, the month of Ramadan is historically marred by a significant increase in terrorist threats and as such there is a potential for attacks to be carried out during Eid celebrations.
Nearly 88 percent of the Indonesian population is Muslim, 72 percent of which support sharia law, a legal code based on the Quran and other Islamic scripture, as official law of the land in their country.
Individuals in Indonesia are advised not to eat, drink, or smoke in public by day during the month of Ramadan to avoid drawing undue attention to themselves. Travelers are also advised to allow additional time for travel and to avoid any form of public demonstration or public gathering.
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