Hari Meugang in Aceh

It was Meugang this weekend, a traditional Acehnese celebration preparing for the beginning of Ramadan. When I asked people what Meugang was all about, I got the same answer again and again. “Meugang is the day you eat meat!” Most people eat more fish and rice than anything else, so people get together with their families to eat meat (mostly beef it seems, which must have additional significance I don’t know about because goat is far more common) to fortify themselves for the following month of fasting.

Jess and I went to a houseblessing on Saturday morning (photos of that shortly) and along the way we stopped in at one of the meat markets to watch some of the Meugang meat-selling madness.

This place is an established meat market usually made up of two or three stands by the side of the road. But in preparation for Meugang there were stalls lining both sides of the road and traffic jams as people stopped their in the narrow road to do some shopping.

The following photos don’t really need further explanation…

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4 thoughts on “Hari Meugang in Aceh

  1. yvonne

    It’s possible that because beef is more expensive than goat, they’re bringing out the good stuff to usher in Ramadan. 2 years ago, my friend’s boyfriend received free beef from his uni during this time. Pretty sweet, eh? I wish my uni gave me more than just an education.

  2. sarahfortuna Post author

    Yep, exactly. Beef is extremely expensive here. But has beef always been more expensive than goat? Is that how the tradition started? People are STRESSED at this time of year because of the expense. I saw an old man walking his cow down the street on Saturday morning as if it was the old man who was being led to the slaughter. Very grave face indeed.

  3. yvonne

    I think that just the way a goat vs a cow grows up lends itself to beef being more expensive to raise…and therefore to eat. Poor man. Probably the bestest friend he had in he world … and now to slaughter for sustenance.

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