Hari Raya Puasa 2023 (not to be confused with Hari Raya Haji) is on 22 April. If you don’t know a great deal about this annual occasion, here’s some useful information about it, from traditions and facts about Hari Raya Puasa in Singapore to some vibrant bazaars you can check out this year.
What is Hari Raya Puasa?
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. A common misconception about Hari Raya Puasa is that it’s the Muslim New Year. In fact, it marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan – the month of dawn-to-sunset fasting. It’s 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.
When is Hari Raya Puasa 2023 in Singapore?
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. In 2023, Hari Raya Puasa falls on 22 April.
What happens on Hari Raya Puasa in Singapore?
Muslims typically start their day by visiting the mosque to say special prayers. After that, 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 the same or similar colour theme to represent family spirit, with women dressed in baju kurung – a loose-fitting full-length dress consisting of a skirt and blouse – and 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 on the day. These include lontong sayur lodeh (mix vegetable in coconut broth), beef rendang (spicy beef stew), kuih bangkit (tapioca cookies) and also kuih tarts (pineapple tarts).
- Muslims greet each other on this day with sayings like “Eid Mubarak”, which means “Have a blessed holiday”. Another one is: “Selamat Hari Raya, maaf zahir dan batin”, which means “Happy Hari Raya; I seek forgiveness for any physical and emotional wrongdoings”.
Hari Raya Puasa 2023 bazaars to explore – from home!
Launched in 2020, 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 the return of Anna Belle Francis and Sheikh Haikel and their B.Halal show live on Facebook. It’s happening every Saturday at 3pm.
Bazaars to explore – outdoors!
#1 Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar
A signature bazaar to celebrate Hari Raya Puasa, this is known for its food stores full of delectable halal treats. It goes from 17 March to 22 April, so is the longest running of its kind at 36 days. You can visit over 700 stores selling food, drinks, apparel, songkoks, festive goodies and other merchandise. This year’s bazaar also comes with ample seating areas so you can stay comfy as you indulge in the delectable treats!
#2 Kampong Glam Bazaar
Part of a one-month-long celebration, the popular Kampong Glam bazaar stays open from 12pm to 11pm daily till its last day on 16 April 2o23. Head down to Kandahar Street for the festivities. This year’s bazaar boasts 80 food stalls and 20 retail booths, including crowd favourites like Ramly burgers, and also special halal Korean street food from Bang Bang by Zeekri.
#3 Sembawang West Ramadan Bazaar
Opposite Admiralty MRT station, Sembawang West Bazaar Ramadan stretches across two whole streets. Open till 10 April, this is your convenient neighbourhood night market if you happen to live near this part of the North sSouth Line. Besides diverse Hari Raya Puasa food options, there are also plenty of family-friendly carnival games, so bring little ones along for the ride!
#4 LalooLalang Raya Pop-Up Bazaar
This eventful pop-up bazaar in the heart of Kampong Glam features over 50 vendors, from food and beverage stalls to fashion vendors. Besides digging into an array of halal eats, you can also shop till you drop here. Taking place from 7 to 9 April, from 2pm to 10pm, its iconic location at the Aliwal Arts Centre will enhance the ambience of Hari Raya festivities.
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