Megengan, a Javanese Tradition to Welcome the Month of Ramadan
TEMPO.CO, Surabaya - Megengan is one of the traditions carried out by the Javanese people which is often found before the month of Ramadan. This tradition is usually carried out by the Javanese as a form of gratitude for the favors received. Megengan is done by praying and having a banquet together.
As reported by the official website of the Magetan Regency Diskominfo, the word 'Megengan' is taken from the Javanese language, especially East Java, which means to hold back. In carrying it out, Muslims are asked to refrain from all forms of actions that can abort fasting. In other areas this event is also known as Nyadran or Ruwahan.
Expression of Gratitude
According to the beliefs of the Javanese people, everything that happens in this world cannot be separated from God's will. Therefore, whenever they feel grateful, they hold a megengan as a form of gratitude for God's grace.
Megengan is usually performed by a large family or community. This activity can be done at various events such as weddings, child births, or when commemorating religious holidays.
When megengan is performed, a joint prayer is usually held to ask for blessings and grace from God. After that, the food that has been prepared will be eaten together. The food served usually consists of rice, vegetables, and side dishes such as chicken or fish.
Aside from being a form of gratitude, megengan is also seen as a means to strengthen relationships between family members or the community. In this event, all members of the family or community are expected to unite and support each other.
Although the megengan tradition has been carried out for many years, now this tradition is starting to change. Some Javanese people are starting to replace traditional food with modern food such as pizza or burgers.
However, the megengan tradition is still maintained and preserved by the Javanese people. They realize that this tradition has positive values that can teach gratitude, togetherness, and mutual respect among others.
The Origins of Megengan
As reported from the official KPI IAIN Kediri website, the history of megengan began during the Ancient Mataram Kingdom in Central Java. At that time, megengan was done as a form of gratitude after a successful harvest and to ask for safety from natural disasters or disease outbreaks.
At that time, megengan was practiced by the king and the royal family. However, over time, megengan began to be practiced by all Javanese people.
During the Dutch colonial period, the megengan tradition was banned because it was considered to contain religious elements. However, this tradition is still carried out secretly by the Javanese people.
After Indonesia's independence, megengan was again seen as a positive tradition and considered part of Indonesia's cultural heritage which must be preserved. Currently, megengan is still practiced by Javanese people throughout Indonesia.
In megengan, the Javanese people hold a banquet together as a form of gratitude for the favors received. The food served usually consists of rice, vegetables, and side dishes such as chicken or fish.
In addition, megengan is also considered as a means to strengthen relations between family members or the community. In this event, all members of the family or community are expected to unite and support each other.
Although nowadays there are changes in the types of food served, the essence of the megengan tradition remains the same. This tradition remains one of the important cultural heritages for the Javanese people.
In conclusion, the history of megengan is an important part of Indonesian cultural history. This tradition has been a part of Javanese life for many years and remains an important part of Javanese culture today. Therefore, it is important for us to continue to preserve and promote this tradition so that it can be passed on to the next generation.
RENO EZA MAHENDRA
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