The Indonesian government announced that the holy fasting month of Ramadan (1435 Hijrah) will start on 29 June 2014. This decision was made after the Ministry for Religious Affairs held an isbat (confirmation) meeting on Friday evening joined by various Muslim organizations. However, Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim organization, the Muhammadiyah, previously determined 28 June as the starting point of the Ramadan. This difference is due to a different method of determining the location of the moon.
Indonesian Muslims are free to choose whether to follow the government’s starting date or the date determined by the Muhammadiyah or another local Muslim organization. For example, the followers of the Jamaat Tarekat Naqsabandiyah in Padang (West Sumatra) already started fasting on Thursday evening (26/06).
The Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar (in Indonesia known as puasa). In this month followers of Islam should enhance devotion and worship of the teachings of Islam. One of the most important aspects of Ramadan is fasting; refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual intercourse from dawn to sunset.
Indonesian businesses are open during the month of Ramadan but since people have less energy due to fasting, their performance usually somewhat weakens.