Every year, some Javanese people celebrate eid al-Fitr which is celebrated on 8 Shawwal, or one week after Eid al-Fitr. Lebaran ketupat is not only an event to eat ketupat with family, but there is a special meaning full of philosophy behind it.
Ketupat or also known as kupat is a dish made from rice that is put into woven coconut janur then steamed. Usually, ketupat is served with coconut milk vegetables such as chicken opor or others.
According to Heddy Shri Ahimsa-Putra, Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Universitas Gadjah Mada, ketupat has been around since hundreds of years ago.
“So people’s ability to make webbing for the place was long before Islam came in. So if you look at its origin, it’s been a very long time. Do not know from when, maybe there has been from prehistoric times, “said Heddy quoted from CNNIndonesia.com, Thursday (05/19/2021).
Heddy continued, it can not be separated from the usefulness of ketupat that is durable and easy to store. So that it can be used as a provision to sail to various places around the archipelago. That is the reason why ketupat is not only popular in Java, but to the Southeast Asian region.
“If you look at the spread of ketupat it only exists in the Southeast Asian Islands region because in Mainland Asia there is no. Ketupat hung on the ship was brought when sailing from island to island because tupat became a practical provision, “he continued.
Meaning of Ketupat Derived from the Javanese Term
Meddy said, that when Islam entered Java Island, the Wali Songo mainly Sunan Kalijaga taught its citizens to make ketupat or commonly called Bakda Kupat during Eid.
The selection of ketupat as a dish when eid is certainly not without reason. Heddy considered it related to the habits of Javanese people who often seek the meaning of a word or called Jarwa Dhosok.
In Javanese itself, ketupat or kupat is a term that means ngaku lepat or recognizes the divinity and practice of papat i.emat action.
“The Javanese like to make it that way. Well including kupat it can be interpreted ngaku lepat, admitting this mistake is related to Eid where people confess to each other mistakes and forgive,” he said.
Furthermore, Heddy said that papat practice or which means four actions, the Javanese interpret it as prayer, fasting, zakat and Hajj.
“Why is it like that, first before the existence of the four corners there is a process of forming the frame first. Well, that’s actually the shahada sentence. So the shahada sentence is the process of forming a ketupat using 2 janur, “said Heddy.
“After reading the shahada, someone will convert to Islam. Then he must undergo the practice of four, from the pillars of Islam. So the ketupat reminds the pillars of Islam,” he added.
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Heddy suspects this is the reason the Javanese Islamic community makes tupat during eid al-Fitr.
“There are indeed such meanings, therefore there is a ketupat width, not lebaran lontong. In Java, there is no lontong. And it lasts one week after Eid, starting from the ngaku lepat people, and celebrated by eating ketupat, “said Heddy.
Not only is it a dish on the table, the cooked ketupat is also distributed to close relatives and to older people, which becomes a symbol of togetherness. In 2021, eid ketupat falls on 8 Shawwal 1442 Hijri or May 20.