The Ultimate Checklist for Hari Raya Celebration
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About Hari Raya feast:
Hari Raya also called “Eid al-Fitr”, is a religious holiday observed by Muslims all over the world to mark the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan fasting.
Its date varies annually and geographically because it’s dependent on the lunar calendar.
Hari Raya is a holiday regarded by Muslims for the forgiveness of wrongdoings among family members, with the younger ones asking forgiveness from their elders.
Worthwhile to note, there are some traditions observed on Hari Raya by Muslims.
First, on Hari Raya holidays, it is popular to find decorations like oil lamps, crescent moon and star garlands, colorful string lights, mosque cut-outs as well as ‘Selamat Hari Raya’ signs in Muslim homes.
Second, Muslims have common greetings for one another during Hari Raya celebrations as regards the religious festival. In Singapore, some common greetings are:
- “Selamat Hari Raya”, which translates to “Happy Eid”;
- “Eid Mubarak”, which translates to “Blessed feast/festival”;
- “Maaf Zahir Dan Batin”, which translates to “I seek forgiveness (from you) both spiritually and physically”;
in the Arabic language.
Another common tradition during the Hari Raya celebrations is the sharing of gifts like green packets and foods and snacks among loved ones. Foods like spicy beef stew, pineapple tarts, tapioca cookies.
Dos and Don’ts during Hari Raya visitation
During visitations on Hari Raya feast, there are some basic etiquette Muslims are expected to observe. Some of them include:
- Dress neatly, diligently, and decently. Avoid putting on revealing clothes, including sleeveless tops.
- Greet appropriately. Some ladies may not be comfortable hugging or shaking hands with men as greetings. So men should instead acknowledge them through verbal greetings while waving and/or smiling.
- Visit people courteously. While entering someone’s house as a visitor, put off your footwear before going in, unless stated to you otherwise by your host.
- It’s also courteous to take gifts along with you to wish your loved ones Happy Eid as you go visiting them. Share the love by gifting hampers, and don’t forget to give green packets to the children and young adults in the house.
There are also taboos attached to the Hari Raya celebrations that every Muslim is expected to note and avoid.
As stated earlier, Muslims must avoid putting on indecent clothes. They must not put on shorts and skimpy dresses, transparent or ripped clothing, and weird costumes. Putting on those kinds of clothes is considered unholy in Islam, as well as disrespectful to their hosts.
- Don’t go into people’s houses without caution.
Normalize knocking on your hosts’ doors and calling out instead of going in directly without notice. Ideally, your hosts should be the ones to open the door for you to go in, or permit you to do so.
Casually greet them by saying Assalamualaikum, wish wishes “Peace be upon you (this house)”.
- Do away with alcoholic drinks.
Alcoholic drinks are taboos in the holy month of Ramadan fasting, and it isn’t appropriate to celebrate Hari Raya with it. Don’t go visiting your loved ones with alcoholic drinks to get drunk – it’s highly unacceptable.
It isn’t appropriate to go visit someone during their praying moments while interrupting their prayers. Whenever you get to their homes and find them praying, learn to wait for them quietly, or join them (if you’re close enough) without interrupting or distracting them. Otherwise, don’t visit them at all during praying hours.
Courtesy demand that one should always be conscious of their eating manners, especially at a host’s home. Like a cultured person, one should not overeat or neglect basic table manners. So if you’re going to eat at a host’s home, take a bit at your time and catch your breaths. Don’t litter their home or look unmannered.