Where the word Lebaran comes from

Posted by David Khoirul

Lebaran Bahasa Indonesia photo imagesWith Ramadhan about to end, Indonesian Muslims will celebrate Idul Fitri (Eid al-Fitr) to mark the first day of Syawwal, on which you'll see a lot of people say Selamat Hari Lebaran, or Eid Mubarak.

Indonesians rarely know where the word Lebaran actually comes from. Some people think it comes from the word Lebar or wide, with the vowel sound e resembling the e in bebek, duck. But if it's the case, then Lebaran should be pronounced the same way as we pronounce Lebar, like e in "bebek," not e in "telur," egg.

Other people assume that this word comes from the word "lebur," which means to blend, to melt, to destroy and to cleanse. But, again, if it is derived from lebur, it should not be Lebaran. Instead, it should be Leburan.

So after some researches, linguists finally knew that lebaran actually came from Javanese and Sundanese, two most widely used local languages in the country. In informal Javanese or slang Javanese, lebar means "after," "later than," while in Sundanese, the word means "free," "end" and "done."

To make the word lebar become a noun, a suffix "-an" is added.

Happy Lebaran, everybody!

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