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Things you should know about Hari Raya Puasa celebrations

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Hari Raya Puasa, also known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, marks the end of the celebration of Ramadan – wherein Muslims fast for a month from dusk till dawn. Muslims are obliged to abstain from eating food, drinking liquid, smoking, immoral acts, and anger. If you do any of the earlier mentioned activity, then it invalidates your fast day and would have to start over the following day. This is also the time for Muslims to focus more on charity, patience and to be grateful for what God has bestowed upon them. In Singapore, Hari Raya Puasa is a public holiday, but celebrations continue throughout the entire month of Syawal.

 

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The first day of celebration of Hari Raya Puasa, Muslims in Singapore congregate to a mosque in the morning closest to their home offering special Eid prayers to commemorate the festival.

 

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After that, Muslims will be visiting family and relatives for the rest of the day in traditional Malay baju kurung, which is a traditional Malay costume, and kebayas for women. There is also a popular tradition for families to dress in the same colour or hue as they do their family visitations for the day. The reason for the colour coordination is to have an easy way to spot them everywhere in Singapore.

 

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At each home visit, a must-have food in all Malay households is traditionally a "ketupat", which is a diamond-shaped rice dumpling wrapped in woven palm leaves. But these days, the females in the households would usually prepare a feast for the family to enjoy through the day. You may check out these Ramadan recipes you could cook for your family’s feast.

 

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Moreover, children are given with “duit raya” in colourful envelopes from adults seeking forgiveness. This is an act of charity to kids and the elderly. Generally, when you become a working adult, you will no longer be given “duit raya” because you are now expected to give it instead. There are no rules on how much money you have to put in the envelopes.

 

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Besides a banquet, Hari Raya Puasa in Singapore is also a time for Muslims to ask forgiveness. During this time, Muslims ask blessings and forgiveness from their family which start with the young ones approaching the elderly.

 

But since Singapore is still under circuit breaker, we encourage you to earnestly commemorate Hari Raya Puasa at home in observance of the government’s quarantine rules amid the COVID-19 crisis. You may opt to attend live takbir of local mosques' YouTube and the Facebook pages. Instead of giving “duit raya” physically, you may send money electronically via PayNow. You can also gather your family on a Zoom call and have a Zoom party with food and drinks rather visit your family and relatives’ home. You may refer to these video chat apps to stay connected with your family.

 

Wishing all our Muslim friends in Singapore and all over the world, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri!

 

 

 

 

~ Carla