Earlier today, I visited a friend house in conjunction of Hari Raya. In Malaysia, today and tomorrow (28 & 29 July) are public holiday. Today is an important day celebrated by Muslims which is called Hari Raya Aidilfitri. It is a norm for us to visit our Muslim friends.
I love all the food served during the celebration such as ketupat, ketupat palas, lemang, rendang, lontong, kuah kacang and varieties of cookies. It’s the only time you can find those traditional cookies as it is not commonly available during non festive seasons.
In Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, Eid is more commonly known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Hari Raya Idul Fitri, Hari Raya Puasa, Hari Raya Fitrah or Hari Lebaran. Hari Raya means ‘Celebration Day’. It is customary for workers in the city to return to their home town to celebrate with their families and to ask forgiveness from parents, in-laws, and other elders. This is known in Malaysia as balik kampung (homecoming).
The night before Idul Fitri is filled with the sounds of many muezzin chanting the takbir in the mosques or musallahs. In many parts Malaysia, especially in the rural areas, pelita or panjut or lampu colok (as known by Malay-Singaporeans) (oil lamps, similar to tiki torches) are lit up and placed outside and around homes. Special dishes like ketupat, rendang, lemang (a type of glutinous rice cake cooked in bamboo) and other Malay also Nyonya delicacies such as various kuih-muih are served during this day.
It is common to greet people with “Salam Aidilfitri” or “Selamat Hari Raya” which means “Happy Eid”. Muslims also greet one another with “maaf zahir dan batin”, which means “Forgive my physical and emotional (wrongdoings)”. It is customary for Muslim-Malaysians to wear a traditional cultural clothing on Eid al-Fitr. The Malay variant (worn in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Southern Thailand) is known as the Baju Melayu, shirt worn with a sarong known as kain samping or songket and a headwear known as songkok. Malaysian women clothing is referred to as Baju Kurung and baju kebaya. It is a common practice however for the Malays in Singapore and Johor, Malaysia to refer to the baju kurung in reference to the type of outfit, worn by both men and women.
Rows of Pelita (oil lamps) which is used to illuminate homes and the streets during the season. In Malaysia, especially in the major cities, people take turns to set aside a time for open house when they stay at home to receive and entertain neighbors, family and other visitors. It is common to see non-Muslims made welcome during Eid at these open houses. In Malaysia, children are given token sums of money, also known as “duit raya”, from their parents or elders.
All pictures are taken from Google Images.