Hari Raya Puasa (not to be confused with Hari Raya Haji) is coming up soon – 13 May, in fact. If you don’t know a great deal about this annual occasion, fret not! We’ve gathered some useful information for you, from facts about Hari Raya to some virtual bazaars you can check out this year.
What is Hari Raya?
Hari Raya Puasa, also known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Eid al-Fitr, but more commonly known as just Hari Raya or Raya amongst Singaporeans, is celebrated by people of the Muslim faith. It marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan – the month of dawn-to-sunset fasting – and is the time of forgiveness as families gather together to remember loved ones who have passed, and offer their apologies for any wrongdoings committed over the past year, with the younger ones in the family asking for forgiveness from their elders.
Psst… Did you know that a common misconception about Hari Raya Puasa is that it’s the Muslim New Year?
When is Hari Raya?
Hari Raya traditionally falls on the first day of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic calendar. It varies each year because it’s dependent on the lunar calendar.
What happens on Hari Raya?
Muslims typically start their day by visiting the mosque to say special prayers. After which, they seek forgiveness from elders – for example, kids might ask for forgiveness from their parents. Before they head out to visit relatives and friends and start feasting on good food, Malay families don new clothes in a same or similar colour theme to represent family spirit, with the women dressed in baju kurung – a loose-fitting full-length dress consisting of a skirt and blouse – and the men in baju melayu – a loose-fitting shirt with long sleeves, worn with long pants with a sampin, a three-quarter length cloth made of woven materials with traditional patterns. Families also visit the graves of loved ones who have passed to pay their respects.
What are some traditions of the day?
- Decorations such as “Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri” signs, mosque cut-outs, oil lamps, lanterns, colourful string lights, ketupat dumplings, and crescent moon and star garlands are common in Muslim homes and mosques during this time of year.
- Sampul duit raya, or green packets containing money, are handed out to children and the elderly.
- There’s plenty of delicious food and snacks to dig into, like lontong sayur lodeh (mix vegetable in coconut broth), beef rendang (spicy beef stew), kuih bangkit (tapioca cookies) and kuih tart (pineapple tarts).
- Muslims greet each other on this day with sayings like “Eid Mubarak”, which means “Have a blessed holiday”, and “Selamat Hari Raya, maaf zahir dan batin”, which means “Happy Hari Raya; I seek forgiveness for any physical and emotional wrongdoings”.
Bazaars to explore – from home!
#1 Geylang Bazaar Online
Spearheaded by Wisma Geylang Serai, the venue for the holiday’s regular Geylang Bazaar, this website aims to bring back the nostalgic feel of the Ramadan bazaars that the local community is familiar with. Not only will you be able to find all sorts of things to order – from festive food and desserts to clothing and household products – but you’ll also be able to watch live performances, do charity donations and more, all in the comfort of your own homes!
Launched just a year ago, the B.Halal app lets you browse products in the marketplace – anything from food and beverages to fashion and beauty items. There are many small businesses that you can support on this platform. On top of that, get in the Raya mood with Anna Belle Francis and Sheikh Haikel through the return of their B.Halal show live on Facebook, happening every Saturday at 3pm.
#3 Stay At Home Bazaar Raya
This beautifully designed Instagram page features each business in its own “booth”, giving the feeling of walking through a phone-sized bazaar. Time to do some shopping!
#4 Bazaar Ramadhan Singapore 2020
This Facebook group allows sellers and buyers to meet and interact online. With more than 50,000 members, you can be sure to find what you’re looking for.
What began as a Halal food directory has expanded to include an e-commerce site selling Halal products! You’ll find everything from home bakes and snacks to cooking supplies and groceries. Too tired to cook this Ramadan? Fret not, their platform also provides food delivery services for you to order in for both your sahur and iftar, where you can choose from a variety of halal restaurants to fulfill your cravings and save you some time and energy from cooking.
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