Hari Raya Puasa, or the festival of Eid, marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, and the start of a new month on the Islamic calendar, Syawal. Hari Raya Puasa is a celebration of victory in completing the fast and the overcoming of personal struggles during the Ramadan, as well as a time of forgiveness and strengthening of bonds amongst family members and relatives.
Muslim families will rally to spring-clean their homes and spruce them up with a fresh coat of paint and new décors. Many also flock to the popular Geylang Serai to source for carpets, cushions, curtains, etc.
Of course, a fresh start is not complete without new clothes! Traditional garb such as the songkok and samping (men), and the baju kurung/kebaya (women) are available in all colours and designs at Geylang Serai. Most families will also opt for similar colour themes to signify familial bonds and ties.
With the increasing convenience and accessibility of online shopping, more people are choosing to get their Hari Raya outfits online.
Feasting is a “must-do” during this festive period, and much effort and time are put into preparing and cooking mouth-watering dishes, such as lontong, ketupat, rendang, curry ayam, sambal goreng, etc. The pestles and mortars, charcoal stoves, pots and pans will all be out in full force—most of the time till the wee hours of the morning!
Homemade sweet temptations are highlights of the festivity too! One can expect popular treats such as the Almond London, Kuih Bangkit, Semperit Pandan, etc. Recipes can be found here.
On Hari Raya Puasa
The visitations begin! First-day visits are usually set aside for the immediate and extended family. Everyone will congregate at a senior family member’s home for a time of fellowship and feasting. A practice where family members seek forgiveness from each other is also observed, to start relationships on a clean slate.
During visitation, it is advisable to observe the following etiquette:
- Be smartly and neatly attired. Avoid wearing revealing clothes, such as shorts and sleeveless tops.
- Remove your shoes before entering your host’s house.
- Some women may not be comfortable shaking hands with the men. The men can choose to acknowledge the women with a smile instead.
The Muslim community is also encouraged to be charitable during this period, and the giving of the green packet is a form of such charity. Green packets are generally given to children and young adults who are not working. The gift amount is not fixed and it depends on the individual giver.
In the midst of all the festivities, the best part about celebrating Hari Raya is the renewing of familial ties and bonds. Spending quality time with loved ones and is ultimately what truly makes the busyness of the season so meaningful.
Selamat Hari Raya to all our Muslims friends!