The History and Philosophy of Ketupat Lebaran
In the 15th and 16th century, Sunan Kalijaga was known as one of the walisongo members who spread Islam in the land of Java using culture and tradition to spread the Islam and also its kindness. Sunan Kalijaga was considered successful to spread Islam in Java because he used the special approach that could get attention from the society. According to the history, Ketupat is so identical with the people who lived near the paddy field so Sunan Kalijaga created the food as the typicalculinary for Lebaran.
This way was considered so interesting for people so they were interested to learn Islam more. The important point of it happened when Sunan Kalijaga spread Islam in the middle of Javanese society where at that time, people who lived there were still in the transition era from Hindu to Islam. There are many proofs and also verbal story developed and said that Sunan Kalijaga was the first person who used Ketupat as the typical accessory for Lebaran. In each region of Nusantara, the people had their own way to name this food.
While in Melayu, this food was named as Ketupat. The Balinese people also knew about this food and they called it as Tipat. In other places, this food is also known as Ketumpat. Eid Fitri is not complete without Ketupat and in every house, you can find this as the main course along with other typical food in Lebaran such as Opor Ayam. Basically, Sunan Kalijaga actually made it as culture at the same time with Bakda Lebaran and Bakda Ketupat. In Javanese language, Ngaku Lepat means admit the mistake.
Meanwhile, Laku Papat means four actions. Beside that, Ketupat also has deep philosophy behind it. It can be seen from the complicated wrap or known as “Anyaman Ketupat". After opening Ketupat, it will look like the white rice. It is reflected as cleanness and also holiness of heart after asking for apology from all mistakes. The shape of Ketupat is so perfect and it is connected with the victory of Islam people after fasting for a month and celebrate Eid Fitri at the end. There is another philosophy of Ketupat.
Ketupat is always served with the other side dishes made of coconut milk and in the Javanese term, it is called as “Kupat Santen” which means as I apologize. That is the history and also philosophy of Ketupat and thanks to Walisongo who spread and introduces Islam to Java, people has the deep tradition and culture related to it and Ketupat is still kept until now.