Hari Raya Puasa

 

Or Hari Raya Lebaran, or Hari Raya Idul Fitri is celebrated at the end of Ramadan, it marks the end of the fasting month and is the Malay term for the Muslim festival of Eid ul-Fitr. The primary purpose of fasting during ramadan is to remind all Muslims of self-control and submitting to Allah, the holy one. It is not the Muslim New Year.

 

Eid ul-Fitr

 

Often abbreviated to Eid. Eid is an Arabic word meaning 'festivity', while Fitr means 'conclusion of the fast'; and so this holiday symbolises the celebration of the conclusion of the month of fasting from dawn to sunset during the entire month of Ramadan. The first day of Eid, therefore, is the first day of the month Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar, that comes after Ramadan. Hari Raya Puasa signifies 'openness' of both mind and heart, and is also customary to seek forgiveness for wrongs done to family and friends.

 

Ramadan

 

Ramadan is the name of the one-month fasting period when Muslims fast, it is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Even though from dawn to sunset, Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and all sensual pleasures, that doesn't mean food is entirely out of the picture. Two main meals are taken each day during Ramadan. Before dawn and at the end of the day the fast is broken with prayer and a meal called the iftar. Muslims are expected to avoid lying, breaking promise or cheating during the month of Ramadan.

 

The Festival

 

Hari Raya Puasa marks the end of the fasting month. New clothes, decorated houses and exchange of invitations between friends and relatives commemorate Hari Raya Puasa. The first day after Ramadan is a busy one. A visit is made to the mosque and the recitation of special prayers is a practice that Muslims observe on the morning of Hari Raya Puasa to celebrate the end of the month-long fast. Other practices include asking forgiveness from elders and visiting relatives and friends. Visitations usually begin with the parents' home as the first destination. It is a custom among many Muslims to ask forgiveness from their parents for the wrongs they have committed in the past year. Although it is not required for Muslims to visit the cemetery during Hari Raya, many do so as a remembrance of those who have left them. The celebration lasts for a month but most of the celebration is concentrated in the first three days. The Muslims also give packets of money to kids when they go visiting. The packets are usually green in color and children often look forward to getting these money tokens on Hari Raya Puasa.

 

Greetings

 

'Selamat Hari Raya' is normally use which means 'Happy Hari Raya' and 'Maaf Zahir dan Batin' which when translated loosely, means 'I seek forgiveness from you'. Indian Muslims generally say 'Eid Mubarak' when they greet each other. 'Eid' is what Indian Muslims address Hari Raya Puasa as and 'Eid Mubarak' means 'Happy Hari Raya'.

 

Festival Goodies

 

Plenty of traditional Malay delicacies are served during this festive season such as Lontong, Beef Rendang. Ketupat is a popular festival food. It is a Malay tradition made of compressed rice boiled in woven coconut leaves. Ketupat made out of colourful ribbons are used for decorations. Cookies and tarts such as kueh tart, kueh bangkit and keuh makmur and also popular festive snacks.

 

As A Guest

 

You are not expected to present gifts or cash. If need be, sweets, cookies or kueh are best and avoid giving wine or champagne. Avoid BLACK, short skirts and wearing too revealing.