Hari Raya Aidilfitri
Muslims in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore celebrate Eid like other Muslims throughout the world.. it’s a very important occassion. It is also known as the festival that marks the end of one month of fasting. The words ‘Hari Raya’ mean ‘day of celebration. ‘ .. I can’t wait to celebrate Hari Raya because I can meet my family,relatives and friends…. Before I can celebrate Hari Raya,I have to go through the fasting month. Fasting month and also known as Ramadan.. What is Ramadan? Ummhhh…
To me,Ramadan is the name of the one-month fasting period when Muslims fast for a period of almost 12 hours. They fast from dawn till sunset. It is a known fact that during the period of fasting, apart from eating and drinking Muslims are also forbidden from smoking and having sexual relations. Only the sick are excused from fasting during this month. Muslims are expected to avoid lying, breaking promise or cheating during the month of Ramadan. In a country like Singapore where there are a number of Muslims, Hari Raya preparations can be seen at least one month before the festival.
Geylang Serai, the place that is known for the Muslims to gather, is always filled with large crowds during Ramadan. Bazaars would be set up and they would be selling numerous festive items for Muslims.. At night the place is lit up with glittering lights. There would also be a wide variety of food which would be sold at the fairs and they include kuehs, otah-otah, cakes, curry, noodles and even curry puffs. Most of the Muslims shop here to get the food to bring home to eat when they are breaking the fast. I know it just because my mom is Singaporean.
Days before Hari Raya, my house display oil lamps will reach its height on the 27th night of Ramadan, called the Tujuh Likur night. ‘Likur’ literally meaning a figure between 20 and 30, hence ‘tujuh likur’ means twenty seven. Well,celebration for Hari Raya Puasa starts at least a month ahead, during the fasting period of Ramadan. Women start to sew beautiful curtains and buy new clothes for the family and do a renovation for the house so that the house would look better when the guests visit it during the festival.
I usuaaly will paint the house with my sister but this year I can’t make it. After fulfilling their one-month of fasting, the Muslims would be joyful to celebrate Hari Raya Puasa. On the morning of the festival, the Muslims would wear their new clothes and go to the mosque to pray. They offer their thanks to God and after that they would ask for forgiveness from their elders. This is an important custom followed by the Muslims. They feel that the young ones asking forgiveness from their elders is very essential.
On the day, they also visit their relatives and friends to celebrate the happy occasion. If you visit Muslims’ homes on Hari Raya Puasa you can expect to taste a wide variety of delicious spicy dishes. Some favorite dishes that can be found in Muslims homes on this special occasion are ketupat, lontong, nasi padang and beef rendang. The Muslims also have the habit of giving packets of money to kids when they go visiting. Overall, Hari Raya Puasa is a delightful festival for the Muslims.