Hari Raya – What, Why, when and How

Mosque
Mosque

Hari Raya Puasa stands for “Day of Celebration”. Marking the end of Ramadan, it is celebrated by Muslims in Singapore and Malaysia. This festival is observed by Muslims through visiting mosques early morning for prayers after which they visit the graves of their deceased family members. On this day, people wear new clothes and celebrate the occasion with their family and friends by exchanging gifts, sweets and biscuits.  

What is the meaning of Hari Raya?

Hari Raya is Malay for “Grand day of celebration” and Puasa is Malay for “Fasting”. Collectively, Hari Raya Puasa connotes the end of the fasting during Ramadan or Ramzan, the month of fasting, spiritual reflection and sacrifice. The term Hari Raya is not just used with Ramadan, but also used during the celebrations of Chinese New Year. “Hari Raya Cina” connotes the celebrations of the Chinese New Year celebrated to mark the advent of the spring season and a new Chinese Year.

 

Who celebrates Hari Raya?

Muslim
Muslim

Hari Raya Puasa is celebrated by Muslims throughout the world to mark the end of the month of Ramzan. Ramzan or Ramadan is the ninth month of Muslim lunar calendar and the holiest month for Muslims all over the world. Muslims also believe that the Quran was also revealed during Ramzan.

 

What should we do on Hari Raya?

There are many obligations attached to Hari Raya, people around the world follow them wholeheartedly to celebrate the festival with reverence. Muslims around the globe visit mosques early morning to pray and visit graves of their family members to celebrate the occasion by paying respect to their deceased elders. Streets are decorated with oil lamps all around and the view is always mesmerizing.

People from Muslim community dress up and visit their family and friends to celebrate the joyous occasion and exude gratitude for the blessings they have in their lives to God. As Hari Raya marks the end of the Ramzan (month of fasting), people prepare nice and delicious food to break the fast and enjoy it with their family and friends.

 

What happens on Hari Raya Haji?

Celebrated for 4 days, Hari Raya Haji marks the sacrifice and the complete faith of prophet Ibrahim in God. It all began when God (Allah) tested prophet Ibrahim’s faith by commanding him to sacrifice his own son Ismail, to which Ibrahim obliged and began the sacrifice. When God saw that Ibrahim had obediently agreed to his command he quickly replaced Ismail with a sheep and Ismail’s life was spared and Ibrahim passed the test. Because of this story of sacrifice, an important and crucial ritual began being observed on this day, the ritual of ‘Korban’ (Sacrifice). Believers of Islam give up their sheep, goats and cows to sacrificing ceremony which is performed by a quick slit to the jugular while prayers are recited. This ceremony commemorates and reminds the worshippers of the fact that prophet Ibrahim almost willingly sacrificed his own flesh for God. After the ceremony, the meat from the sacrificed animal is used to feed the needy and the worshippers.

Hari Raya haji also marks the end of Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca when each year millions of Muslim believers visit the most sacred mosque from around the globe. It is a dream to visit the holiest mosque in Islam of many from the Muslim community. 

 

What is the difference between Hari Raya Puasa and Haji?

While Hari Raya Puasa marks the end of the month of Ramzan and the end of fasting, Hari Raya Haji marks the end of Hajj. While Hari Raya Puasa celebrations last up to 30 days and start immediately after Ramzan, Hari Raya Haji celebrations only last for 4 days and occur 70 days after Ramzan. After prayers in Hari Raya Puasa, people visit their family and friends to celebrate the occasion. In Singapore during Hari Raya Puasa, people wear new traditional dresses like Baju Kurung and  Baju Melayu and enjoy traditional Malay festival food. On the other hand during Hari Raya Haji, people sacrifice their sheep, goats and cows during the ceremony. 

 

How do you wish Happy Hari Raya? How do you greet Hari Raya Haji?

Selamat Hari Raya!

Selamat Hari Raya
Selamat Hari Raya

Selamat Hari Raya is the traditional Malay way of greeting and wishing during Hari Raya. The meaning of Selamat Hari Raya is “Happy Hari Raya” in English. It is used by Malay Muslims during the 30 days celebrations of Hari Raya Puasa and also during the 4 days long celebrations of Hari Raya Haji to wish each other. Apart from wishing each other verbally what you can do to make your Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji more “Selamat” is surprising your loved ones with amazing hampers.

 

Some of the best hampers from our Hari Raya collections which are highly rated by customers are listed below:-

 

1. HARI RAYA – THE GRANDE

This hamper filled with chocolates and cookies can be a great way for you to celebrate Hari Raya Puasa with your chocolate-loving friends and family members.

2. HARI RAYA – MIRACLE

Full of chocolates and delicious snacks this hamper can be an excellent way for you to leave a great impression on your workplace friends and associates.

3. HARI RAYA – MAJESTIC

Express your happiness by spreading bright wishes with this hamper. This hamper will not only make your festival more momentous but will also help you earn respect and affection in the hearts of your loved ones.

Apart from giving these amazing hampers to your loved ones, you can also invite them on dinner at your home and celebrate the occasion with a delicious dinner with traditional Malay food.

 

What does Malay/ Singaporean eat during Hari Raya?

Hari Raya 2021 is on its way, which means shopping for the festival to celebrate it with joy and without any hesitation. The primary things on the list of a person when shopping for Hari Raya are decorative items and most importantly food items. Below are the must-have food items In Singapore during Hari Raya.

 

1. Beef Rendang

Cooked with coconut milk and traditional spices this beef stew is a must-have during Hari Raya celebrations.

2. Ayam Masak Merah

Prominent in Malay culture, this chicken dish is mouthwatering and a treat for chicken lovers who love to try out different chicken dishes.

3. Ketupat

Ketupat
Ketupat

Considered an icon dish during Hari Raya revelries, Ketupat is a rice dish cooked in a palm leaf container. Malay’s absolutely love this dish just as much as people love mistletoe during Christmas revelries. 

4. Lontong

Eaten with dishes like serunding, sambal goreng and rendang, this amazing Hari Raya dish is a rice cake wrapped in banana leaves. Boiled instead of steamed, it is surely a must-have during Hari Raya.

After 30 days of strict and disciplined fasting, anyone would deserve a treat of the dishes listed above. They are enjoyed by Malay people and have been a part of traditional Hari Raya food for years. 

 

What happens during the month of Ramzan?

Ramzan or Ramadan is the holiest month in Islam and for the believers of Muslim community. During the month of Ramzan, 30 days of strict fasting is carried out by people from the Muslim community. Fasting during the 30 days of Ramzan is compulsory for all healthy adults who can do it and they are advised to follow the rules strictly with the utmost respect and discipline. The fasting is done to remind every Muslim of the less fortunate and those who are not able to make ends meet. The fasting also gives a sense of gratitude to the people of the Muslim community and gives them time reflect on their actions. Amid the strict fasting there are a few food items that are allowed to eat during the fasting of Ramzan. The fasting is very tough for many but a piece of cake for some and the items allowed to be eaten during the month of Ramadan makes the fasting even more easier and interesting. Fasting is done between sunrise and sunset, during which everybody is ordered to refrain from drinking and eating anything. Things allowed to be eaten during fasting are mentioned below :

1. Dates

Full or protein and nutritious, Dates are a favorite among those who fast during Ramzan

2. Beef Stew

Before beginning with the fasting, one must fill themselves with protein so they can stay energetic throughout the day even without eating or drinking.

3. Keema

Another dish favorite among Muslims during Ramzan which is full of protein and carbohydrates. 

4. Kebabs

Who doesn’t love Kebabs? This amazing non-veg item makes the fasting more interesting and fun.

These were the few dishes eaten during the 30 days of fasting of Ramadan before sunrise and after sunset. 

 

What is Suhoor and Iftar?

During the fasting of Ramzan, every Muslim has two meals throughout the day before sunrise and after sunset. The two meals are called “Suhoor” and “Iftar”. Suhoor, which is also known as Sahari or Sehri is the meal before the fasting and Iftar is the meal which breaks the fasting after sunset. Both of these meals are full of protein and fat which helps in fasting throughout the day for 30 days during the month of Ramadan. The fasting is considered very divine and because of it Iftar dishes are very delicious. The fast is broken every day with Iftar after reciting prayers to be thankful to God.

 

When is Ramzan 2021?

Ramzan 2021 will begin on 12 April, 2021 and will end on 12 May, 2021. So get ready for 30 days of fasting and go out for shopping because Hari Raya Puasa celebrations are also on their way. 

 

Restrictions during the month of Ramzan 

Apart from not eating and drinking between sunrise and sunset, there are other activities which Muslims have to avoid during the 30 days of fasting.

 

1. No smoking

Smoking is prohibited during fasting of Ramzan. 

2. No sexual activities

People are also advised not to engage in any sexual activities before sunset and after sunrise during the 30 days of fasting.

3. No Fights and arguments

People are told to refrain from any fight and arguments during the month of Ramzan.

4. No movies

Say goodbye to your Netflix and Amazon prime because Ramzan is a month of ibadat and only prayers should be done. People are advised not to indulge in watching movies. So say adios to those binge watching sessions of yours for a month and say hello to “Binge-Praying”.  

Reading Koran
Reading Koran

These restrictions during the month of Ramzan basically state that the holiest month of Islam should be celebrated properly with the utmost discipline and respect for God. People shouldn’t indulge in unhealthy practices and should not do anything which drives them away from God and spiritual divinity. Follow these instructions during the strict fasting of Ramadan and get yourself time to reflect on your life and actions.

 

What do we learn during the month of Ramzan

There are many great things which one can learn during the 30 days fasting of Ramzan, one of them is being grateful to whatever luxury we have because many people dream about having what we have while we don’t appreciate it. Staying hungry for the whole day teaches us a lesson and reminds us of those who don’t get to eat as much as we do every day. While we waste so much food everyday, some don’t even get 1 proper meal in their day. We should be grateful to God for what he has given us and should be humble and kind everyday.

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