Hari Raya or Aidilfitri is an annual festival celebrated by Muslims around the world at the end of their fasting month, known as Ramadan. According to the Hijrah (Islamic Calendar), Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic lunar year, and Hari Raya is always celebrated on the first day of Syawal, the 10th month.
In this article:
- How do Muslims in Singapore celebrate Hari Raya?
- Hari Raya Puasa Greetings
- Hari Raya Food
- Duit Raya
- Hari Raya Puasa Attire
- Hari Raya Gift Ideas
- Hari Raya Decorations
- Where to buy Hari Raya decorations?
Hari Raya brings joyful celebrations, family get-togethers, and delicious food festivities, which by the way, after a month of fasting, is well-deserved. This day is also known as Hari Raya Puasa, where the word puasa means “fasting.” The name is also a rough translation of the Arabic term, Aidilfitri, which in itself means ‘Festival of Breaking the Fast’.
In this short guide, we will discuss the upcoming Hari Raya Puasa 2020 in Singapore and share the event’s significance, traditions, greetings, celebrations, gifts, ideas, and more.
1. How do Muslims in Singapore celebrate Hari Raya?
Hari Raya Aidilfitri traditions are centred on spreading joy and happiness and bringing the Muslim community together. Traditionally, the joyous occasion is celebrated after the end of Ramadan with a host of fun activities, both cultural and religious. Muslims often sing songs, give gifts, cook delicious food, and greet each other heartily on this day. Here are the main Hari Raya traditions observed in Singapore.
Hari Raya is one of the most awaited celebrations in Singapore. It is a religious occasion when Muslims all over the world wake up early and head to the mosque for prayers. Some of them also visit the graves of their loved ones to pay their respects to those that have passed on. People adorn their very best clothes for the day. Delicious meals and desserts are prepared, and festivities are held to enjoy the occasion fully. After a month of fasting, Hari Raya Aidilfitri is the day when Muslims reward themselves for the restraint, fasting, praying, and charity they did during the month of Ramadan.
Hari Raya Aidilfitri is a special day to celebrate with your friends and family. Everyone should spend a little time on this good day with kids, enjoy food, exchange gifts, and share joy.
If you are reading this during Ramadan, here we have curated some easy-to-make Sahur recipes for you.
2. Hari Raya Puasa Greetings
Hari Raya Puasa greetings are simple but full of meaning. Muslims in Singapore often greet each other with “Happy Hari Raya,” which translates to Happy Celebration Day. “Selamat Hari Raya” is another traditional greeting used by Malay Muslims, which means “Happy Hari Raya,”. They also use “Maaf Zahir dan Batin,” which translates to “I seek forgiveness from you.” Muslims all over the world also use “Eid Mubarak” or “Happy Eid” to greet each other as well.
3. Hari Raya Food
As with any festive day or occasion, Hari Raya Puasa also calls for delicious food on the table. Muslims put a lot of effort into preparing scrumptious meals for their friends and family. In Singapore, there are many traditional dishes cooked and served just for Hari Raya. One of the main dishes includes Ketupat, which is steamed rice cakes moulded into a diamond-shaped container and wrapped in a woven palm leaf pouch. It is often served and enjoyed with a variety of other meals like Ketupat Sayur, Gado Gado, and more. Other iconic dishes made on this day are Lontong, Satay, Dodol, Rendang, and many more.
4. Duit Raya
If you are a kid, this word will bring a shiny smile on your face. Duit Raya, which historically started as a donation to the poor and needy, has now evolved into a customary Hari Raya gift to children.
Greetings of Assalam Alaikum start echoing everywhere in a sing-a-song manner as kids receive their green envelopes with money in them. The exciting moment for children begins as soon as elders leave the mosque and greet each other with hugs. The children, looking splendorous in their Hari Raya attire, go to friends and families on the first day of festivities with their main objective, to collect Duit Raya from their elders.
5. Hari Raya Puasa Attire
Hari Raya is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm. Muslims dress their best to enjoy this festive occasion. In Singapore, they have a special attire designated for this day. Couples usually wear the same coloured dresses that complement each other. Muslim Singaporean women wear a Jubah, Baju Kurong, or Baju Kebaya, whereas, Singaporean Muslim men wear a male version of the Baju Kurong along with a Kain Samping which is a piece of cloth worn over trousers. Women often cover their heads with a hijab or scarf. At the same time, the men wear a songkok on their heads during the Hari Raya Puasa celebration.
6. Hari Raya Gifts Ideas
In Singapore, the Hari Raya Puasa celebrations often include Muslims exchanging homely gifts with friends and family. Often people bring food items such as sweets, cookies, kueh, or meals to the gatherings and festivities. This gift exchange tradition helps spread joy, brotherhood, and love among Muslims.
Muslims embrace this tradition to promote gift-giving and show gratitude to their fellow Muslims. This is why Hari Raya gifts are often sentimental, inexpensive, cosy, handmade, and, most importantly, come from the heart.
[Bonus Tip] The easiest gift idea for Hari Raya 2020 is to buy a lovely basket, wrapping sheet, and ribbons from stores like Giant and wrap it up according to your personal preferences. You can include some home-made sweets, snacks, chocolates in the basket to give it a more personal touch. To beautify your home-made basket, add some colourful natural or scented flowers to it.
7. Hari Raya Decorations
After waiting for Hari Raya during the entire month of Ramadan, the decorations, before and on the day of Hari Raya, are a must. Hari Raya decorations tend to be simple but colourful. In Singapore, Muslims use lights, coloured papers, ornaments, paintings, and other crafts to bring light and colour to their homes. Mostly the decorations are inexpensive and not time-consuming. Often, children and women create cards and signs with Hari Raya greetings on them and also exchange them with each other.
While most people decorate their homes, decorations at the offices and schools are also becoming a trend. Hari Raya celebration at schools is full of colours, where teachers and students often use arts and crafts to decorate their school. In offices, people use Star and Moon Ramadan Garland to decorate their space and also create “Eid Mubarak” or “Happy Hari Raya” signs for tables or to hang on the wall.
8. Where to buy Hari Raya decorations?
Purchasing Hari Raya decorations does not have to be tedious and costly. Try using crafts supplies such as crepe paper, paint, plates, coloured paper, and create your very own inexpensive decorations. It's also a wonderful opportunity to get the family together to craft Hari Raya decorations for the home.
You can also visit Giant and search for some very budget-friendly decoration items for your home.
After being abstained from food and drink from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, Hari Raya Puasa is a long-awaited occasion for Muslims around the world. This three-day event brings happiness, joy, delicious food and merriment for all Muslim families. It brings friends and families together to share their happiness and seek forgiveness from almighty.
Hopefully, with this blog, you were able to learn about Hari Raya Puasa traditions, decorations and how it is celebrated in Singapore.
Visit Giant for all your Hari Raya 2020 needs!