Indonesians Celebrate Eid Untroubled by Day’s Delay

Posted August 31st, 2011 at 5:20 am (UTC-5)
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Muslims flocked to mosques across Indonesia on Wednesday to celebrate the end of Ramadan a day after most other Muslims — and a day later than they themselves expected.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was among the thousands who celebrated Eid al Fitr at the Istiqlal Grand mosque in Jakarta, the largest mosque in Southeast Asia.

Few seemed troubled by the government's decision late Monday to mark the feast day on Wednesday instead of Tuesday, a decision that forced shopkeepers to reschedule the holiday and families to rearrange feast plans.

The government has declared that this year's observance, known locally as Lebaran, will last for seven days.

While most Indonesians went along with the switch in days, which was based on astronomers' observations of the moon, members of the nation's second-largest Muslim faction went ahead with Eid on Tuesday. Muhammadiyah members maintained that some astronomers still believed Tuesday was correct.

That did not seem to bother other members of the world's largest Muslim population, who said they were willing to live and let live.