When is Hari Raya Puasa ?
Countries observing Hari Raya Puasa
Hari Raya Puasa is a very important occasion celebrated by all Muslims over the world. The words ‘Hari Raya’ mean 'day of celebration.' Hari Raya Puasa is often mistaken to be the Muslim New Year but it is not. It marks the end of the month of Ramadan.
Ramadan is the name of the one month fasting period when Muslims fast daily for a period of almost 12 hours from dawn till sunset. During the period of fasting, apart from eating and drinking Muslims are also forbidden from smoking and having sexual relations.
The sick are excused from fasting during this month. Muslims are also expected to avoid lying or cheating during Ramadan. The principal reason for the fasting during Ramadan is to remind Muslims of self-control and submitting to Allah, the holy one. Even young kids are taught to fast when they are young.
In a country such as Singapore where there is a large number of Muslims, Hari Raya preparations are visible from about one month before the festival. Geylang Serai, the place where Muslims traditionally gather, is filled with large crowds during Ramadan. Bazaars are set up selling various festive items for Muslims.
At night the place is lit up with glittering lights. Most of the Muslims go here to buy the food to bring home to eat when they are allowed to break the fast.
During Ramadan. Women start to sew beautiful curtains and buy new clothes for the family. Some families also do renovation so that their home will look better when any guests visit it during the festival. After fulfilling their one-month of fasting, the Muslims are joyful to celebrate Hari Raya Puasa. On the morning of the festival, the Muslims wear their new clothes and go to the mosque to pray. They offer their thanks to God and after that they would ask for forgiveness from their elders.
They feel that asking forgiveness from their elders is an important ritual. On the day, they also visit their relatives and friends to celebrate the happy occasion. If you visit Muslims' homes on Hari Raya Puasa you can expect to taste a wide variety of delicious spicy dishes. Some favorite dishes that can be found in Muslims homes on this special occasion are ketupat, lontong, nasi padang and beef rendang. The Muslims also have the habit of giving packets of money to kids when they go visiting. The packets are usually be in green color and children often look forward to getting these money tokens on Hari Raya Puasa.