Sunday, 21 August 2011

Selamat Hari Raya

Note: - This advertisement really remind me of myself during each Raya.

“Horey, Balik Kampung” I am going back soon. Eid ul-Fitr, often abbreviated to Eid and better known as Hari Raya in Malaysia, is an Islamic celebration that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. This is an annual event that I never miss celebrating it with my family members.

After 30 days of dawn-to-dusk fasting during Ramadan, the first three days of Hari Raya Aidilfitri are celebrated on a grand scale. While Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations are colourful and fascinating, you should take note that the fasting month leading up to the holiday is probably the best time to experience the Malay culture and heritage.

For Muslims, the month of Ramadan is devoted to worship, charitable deeds and acts of compassion. To purify one’s body and soul, they practice abstinence from food and drink during the day.

If you’re in Malaysian during Ramadan, don’t miss the opportunity to experience the rich Malay heritage. The main tourist attraction is a bazaar in Kampung Baru. Besides the glittering street light-ups and traditional decorations, you’ll find street stalls that open from early afternoon till late into the night, selling a wide variety of traditional food, fashion, textiles and handicrafts. From tailor-made traditional dresses known as ‘baju kurung & Baju Melayu’ to hand-woven cushion covers, from affordable Persian carpets to delightful flower arrangements, you’re bound to find a keepsake of the festivities. 

A trip to the bazaars is simply not complete without sampling the variety of traditional Malay cakes and pastries .Take your pick from sweet snacks like pineapple tarts, ‘Buah melaka’ made with palm sugar filled centres.

When Hari Raya Aidilfitri arrives, Muslim families often dress in the same colour to signify their unity Muslims starts the day by wearing new clothes and congregating in the mosques early in the morning to perform Hari Raya Puasa prayers followed by visiting the graves of the departed. The young will ask for forgiveness from their elders and have open house for relatives and friends to come to their house. Plenty of traditional Malay delicacies are served during this festive season. A wide variety of spicy dishes are traditionally served during the three-day celebration, including spicy beef ‘rendang’, vegetable sups ‘lontong’ and Malay rice cakes called ‘ketupat’.

It is common to greet people with Selamat Hari Raya"(in Malaysia) which means "Happy Eid". Muslims also greet one another with "maaf zahir dan batin" in Malaysia, which means "Forgive my physical and emotional (wrongdoings)", because Idul Fitri is not only for celebrations but also a time for atonement: to ask for forgiveness for sins which they may have committed but was cleansed as a result of the fasting in the Muslim month of Ramadan.

So to all my friends “Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir Dan Batin”

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