How Malaysia celebrates Hari Raya Aidilfitri?
July 6, 2016
Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the festival of the breaking of the fast, a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims in Malaysia. Hari Raya means ‘celebration day’, and Hari Raya Aidilfitri is the day that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of dawn-to-sunset fasting. Hari Raya Aidilfitri falls on July 6 and July 7 this year.
What happens on the day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri?
Muslims wake up early to visit the mosque to thank God for the blessings they have in life. They will seek for forgiveness and receive ‘green’ packets of money from their elders. While dressed in their new best clothes, they will pay a visit to their relatives, family and friends to dig into traditional delicious food; Ketupat (Rice cake), Lemang (glutinous rice) and many other traditional foods.
What are the traditional clothes worn on the day?
Women usually either wear a Baju Kurung, Baju Kebaya or Jubah. Meanwhile, Men wear the male version of a Baju Kurung together with a Kain Samping - a piece of cloth worn over the trouser of the Baju Kurung. It is common to see men wear a songkok on their heads as well.
Do you have to bring any gifts?
Most Muslims in Malaysia do not expect guests to present gifts or cash. If guests insist on presenting something, then sweets, cookies or kuih are best and will be appreciated by most hosts. Guests should also look out for what not to give. Black is an avoidable colour. Wine, champagne or any other form of alcohol is forbidden for Muslims.
Non-Muslim guests are not expected to be dressed in traditional Malay clothes. However, it might please your hosts, if you made the effort. Wearing casual and not to wear anything too revealing Western clothing is completely acceptable.
What are the most common Hari Raya Puasa greetings?
“Selamat Hari Raya” is the traditional greeting used by Malay Muslims which means “Happy Hari Raya” and “Maaf Zahir dan Batin” which when translated is “I seek forgiveness from you”.
A lot of Muslims also say “Eid Mubarak” when they greet each other; the term has Arabic origins. ‘Eid Mubarak’ means “Happy Hari Raya”.
Muslims usually travels back to their hometown three days to a week before Hari Raya Aidilfitri to avoid heavy traffics. If you are planning to travel around this period of time, try to book in advance before the tickets are sold out.