let’s celebrate Hari Raya Puasa this July

This year, Hari Raya Puasa is on Wed 6 July 2016. It is a public holiday, and is celebrated at the end of the Ramadan month of fasting. It is also known as the festival of Eid or as Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Hari Raya means the ‘grand day of rejoicing’ and, in Singapore, it is a big Muslim festival that recognises the demonstration of self-restraint during Ramadan, and symbolises purification and renewal. It is a time of forgiveness and children often visit their parents. From the 20th day of Ramadan, oil lamps are lit in homes until the end of the festival. For Hari Raya Puasa, people decorate their homes and put on new clothes. The men wear Baju Melayu (a loose shirt with trousers) with kain samping (a short sarong), while the Baju Kurung is often worn by women. Early in the day on Hari Raya Puasa, Muslims go to the mosques for prayers. During the afternoon, families and close friends gather together for a thanksgiving feast where forgiveness and blessing is sought from one another. Duit raya, green envelopes containing gifts of money, are often given to children and the elderly then everyone enjoys the food specialties such as beef rendang, satay, ketupat and lontong followed by cookies, cakes, biscuits, sweets and pineapple tarts. The customary greeting is ‘Selamat Hari Raya’, and celebrations of Hari Raya Puasa extends for three days, up to a month.

We have not had a Hari Raya Puasa celebration and gathering before, and I am thinking this year, we shall hold one event during the month of July.
Let’s open to members for ideas.  We shall firm our ideas by 30 Jun 2016.
Terence Seah

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