In a week's time, Muslims worldwide will be celebrating Eid al-Fitr. In Malaysia, we call it Hari Raya Adilfitri. Hari Raya in Malay literally translates as ‘celebration day’ and Hari Raya Aidilfitri is the day that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of dawn-to-sunset fasting.
Over here, the festival is a major public holiday and offices and schools officially close for 2 days.
On this day, Muslims don new clothes and go for prayers in mosques at dawn. Then it’s off to see the parents. Muslims traditionally ask for forgiveness from their elders for any wrongs committed during the year. More visits are made to see relatives and friends and a lavish spread of food awaits Some even have 'Open House' - a Malaysian concept like no other anywhere else in the world! Open Houses are held during religious and cultural festivals like Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Chinese New Year, Christmas and Deepavali. An Open House event connotes that anyone , regardless of religion or race, can visit the home of a friend or associate during a particular celebration. When we were kids, we used to hop from house to house and stuff ourselves full with all those yummy cakes and cookies!
It is customary for Muslims to wear traditional clothes on Hari Raya. The men generally wear Baju Melayu (a loose shirt with trousers) with kain samping (a short sarong) and a songkok (cap), while the Baju Kurung is often worn by the ladies. Families usually dress in the same colours to represent unity.
Those green thingies are ketupat, a type of dumpling made from rice packed inside a square pouch that is woven from coconut leaves. Ketupat to Hari Raya is what Easter eggs and bunnies are to Easter. Images of ketupat are often used as decoration to celebrate Hari Raya or Eid ul-Fitr.
From the 20th day of Ramadan, oil lamps are lit in homes and mosques and burned until the end of the festival
|Ketupat - a Hari Raya staple|