Before Ramadhan, Moslem in Jogjakarta holds 3 unique traditions to welcome the fasting month. First, make a cake from sticky rice. It is simple, but needs painstaking, perhaps 2-3 hours to make sweet sticky rice ready to eat. First, coconut milk mix with sticky rice and sugar, stirred until it is mixed, then cook it. Some people say that if it is cooked by firewood, it will have a unique taste, some kind of smell burnt. The cake named apem. Family who cook apem will bring it to neighbor and the other family. The apem tradition usually holds in family who its member died.
With the apem tradition accomplished, all member family goes to the graveyard to pilgrimage the elders. They will take flower in their hand, pray in Islam way and recalling all memories about the family stories in the past. It is time to know deeper about their families. Sometimes, parents will take a walk with their children in the graveyard, passing away the family gravestone, telling stories about grandmother, grandfather or another family member. The tradition named nyadran. A day before Ramadhan, you can see the graveyard is full with people who pilgrimage their families.
In the afternoon, a day before Ramadhan, the last tradition holds in a unique symbol. Moslem goes to the nearest dwelling, sea or river, and then they wash up their face, hand and legs, as a symbol of purifying heart. One of the famous beaches is Parangtritis Beach in south Jogjakarta. You can see hundrends of visitors stands at the beach, they will pray to the Almighty God. In the north of Jogjakarta, there is Umbul Pajangan, a dwelling where villagers get water. From noon until evening, youth and children swim in the dwelling. And then the night, it will be the first tarawih, an Islamic praying in the ramadhan fasting month.