Indonesian Muslims celebrate Idul Fitri on different days with the second largest Muslim organization Muhammadiayah observing the end of Ramadhan on Tuesday (Aug. 30) while the largest one, the Nahdhatul Ulama (NU) on Wednesday.
The Idul Fitri festivities are to be preceded with prayers held on the first day of Syawal, succeeding month of the Ramadhan fasting month. However different methods used by the two largest Islamic organizations in deciding the first day of Syawal caused them to celebrate the Idul Fitri on different days.
In the meantime, the government announced on Monday evening that the Ramadhan fasting month ended on August 30, thus the first day of Syawal would fall on Wednesday, August 31, 2011.
The government`s decision was announced by Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali during an Itsbat session held to determine the beginning of Syawal after hearing reports on the observations of the moon in different parts of the country and inputs from a number of Islamic mass organizations.
Of the 90 observation points in Indonesia, about 30 have reported that they had not seen the new moon which would mark the first day of Syawal.
Even though the new moon was not sighted during the observation, Muhammadiyah which based its method on calculation continued its decision to end fasting month on Monday and to hold Idul Fitri prayers on Tuesday.