Lebaran: Let's Celebrate Together!

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Lebaran: Let's Celebrate Together!

Marketers who want to tap into the Indonesian market should be aware of the strong community spirit among Indonesians. A good example of this can be seen in how the community gets together to welcome Eid al-Fitr, or best known as Lebaran, that comes after Ramadhan. The way Lebaran is welcomed in Indonesia is unique compared to other countries. Religious practices and hundreds of years of traditions are strongly intertwined to create the spirit of togetherness and an atmosphere that is full of joy.

After a month of fasting, the time has come for Indonesians to celebrate Lebaran. The word Lebaran comes from an Indonesian word ‘Lebar' that means wide, symbolising the door of forgiveness that is opened wide for Muslims who have succeeded in abstaining themselves during the month of Ramadhan.

On the eve of Lebaran that falls on the thirtieth day of Ramadhan, the local muslim communities throughout Indonesia welcome the beginning of the celebration with the ‘takbiran' parade tradition. The practice of ‘takbiran' consists of community chanting parade, reciting praises to Allah, while hitting the local drum known as ‘bedug' as they walk through the various streets of the neighborhoods.

The first day of Lebaran, which signifies the first day of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar, is also celebrated with with carnivals, such as Nyangkar tradition held in Lombok or Grebeg Syawal in Yogyakarta. These are done by parading food and produce as manifestation of gratitude.

As in some other countries in the region, Indonesians also practice the tradition of giving pocket money to small children during the Lebaran, sending lebaran greetings along with the parcels or cakes, and giving alms to the poor. So Lebaran is indeed a moment to celebrate among Indonesians, but it is also a moment to share. This provides a valid reason for most people to justify their spending and consumption.

Indonesians will do their very best to make their Lebaran moment perfect. So on top of buying new outfits to look their best, and buying new curtains or changing furniture to make their houses look nice, most will also buy the best ingredients they can afford to cook their special food for their guests.

From a marketing perspective, the importance of community sharing triggers huge consumption during this period. Lebaran is seen as a once-a-year momentous event that makes consumers feel they have the right to spend. The driver to purchases made during Lebaran is mainly to share their happiness with loved ones - their family, friends, and other people around them. Thus the community spirit comes together with the spirit of sharing during this period. Most brands opt for tactical campaigns to drive purchases, and can be seen offering big discounts during the Lebaran season. However, brands who stand out above the crowded sales and discounts, are those who are able to reflect their understanding of the emotional significance of the celebration through narratives that resonate with Indonesians.