Ramadan is considered to be one of the pillars of the Islam faith. During this significant period Muslims all over the world engage in a 30 day fasting rites from dawn to sunset, intended to educate them in spirituality, humility and patience. With that being said, what is Hari Raya and what is the significance of the celebration?
Hari Raya Puasa or Hari Raya Aidilfitri, marks the end of Ramadan and is considered the festival of gratitude to God and an occasion celebrated with families and loved ones. It is also the time of feasts, homecoming, contemplation, forgiveness and reconciliation.
Balik Kampung, and Visitations
Balik kampung or Homecoming is just like the tradition in the west during Christmas seasons – when everyone returns to their hometowns to celebrate the occasion with their families. It is expected that around this time air, land and sea tickets will be sold out quickly so everyone tends to book their journey home in advance.
On the days of the Hari Raya Celebrations, Malay families dress with their finest clothes also known as “baju Melayu” for men and “baju Kurung” for women. The celebration begins with its first stop, the visit to the mosque followed by the visitation to the parents’ house. Kids also expect their green packets during the visitations, and so you should always be prepared with your paper bills and those green packets. It is also greatly encouraged that during this time, Muslims are to give an obligatory tithe also known as ‘zakat fitrah’ which is collected by the mosques and is then distributed to the needy and less privileged.
Forgiveness and Reconciliation
Hari Raya celebrations brings about fellowship and reconciliation between families and friends.
Other than the feasts of home-cooked traditional meals and kuehs, one of the sentimental traditions observed during Hari Raya is the time where everyone in the family ask for forgiveness from each other. “Maaf zahir dan batin” is a common greeting usually said by the person asking for forgiveness, this means “I seek forgiveness from you in body and spirit.” This certain act exceeds beyond just celebration, it leads to reconciliation and fostering relationships between families and friends.
Of course the traditional home-cooked meals
Last but not the least, what everyone has been looking forward to – the much awaited feast! These foods are never to be missed, every household will surely have these: ketupat, rendang, lemang and kueh raya. Above all else “diet” is a forgotten word on the day of celebration, it’s all about having good food while being surrounded by great company of people.
And since this season calls for a lot of festivities at home, check out the links below on how to store your fresh foods and leftovers in these following related posts:
Share with us your family traditions during this period, we would love to hear from you! Comment below or post on our Facebook.
Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to our Muslim brothers and sisters! Enjoy the feasts and the time with your families and loved ones.