Dates of holidays and festivals around the world
Great Day of Fasting – Hari Raya 2013

Great Day of Fasting – Hari Raya 2013

Hari Raya 2013

Hari Raya 2013 will be on August 8 and 9, 2013. This is one of the most important holidays in the Islamic calendar since it is the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal and marks the important end of Ramadan. Ramadan is a month of fasting and prayer for all Muslims all around the world.

Hari Raya Puasa is called Eid in Singapore; in Malay this day is called a great day of rejoicing. Puasa means fasting in Malay and this is not just abstaining from eating but all the luxuries like smoking and drinking alcohol. When Hari Raya comes, it marks the end of fasting and a person is said to be forgiven from his sins. Joyful celebrations with families, friends and neighbors mark this special day and Hari Raya 2013 is no exception.

What happens during Hari Raya?

It you have never been a part of Hari Raya then you need to remember the following pointers:

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The Ketupat is the most popular dish for celebrating Hari Raya
pic source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ketupat2.jpg

  • Hari Raya celebrations are usually to the extreme as celebrants spend the entire day wearing colorful outfits and feasting. There is an exhibition of traditional cultures and traditions during this special day making it a great day to learn all about Islamic culture.
  • Modern celebration of Hari Raya has been dominated with street performances, shopping and night bazaars. After prayers and traditional meals are done, families, friends and neighbors all gather in town and come to bazaars.
  • There are glittering street lights, festival decorations and so much feasting from late afternoon until the wee hours of the next day. If you are a tourist, you will find this a great time to savor local food, view traditional dances and buy local handicrafts to take home as a souvenir. If you will celebrate Hari Raya in Singapore then you can buy almost anything from expensive Persian carpets to cheap home decorations.
  • If you come as a part of a family or a clan chances are you will be dressing up with the same color. This means that the family is united in everything that they do. If you are a tourist, be sure to compliment the locals by wearing baju Melayu or a loose shirt and trousers for men and baju kurung which is a traditional dress for women.

Preparing for Hari Raya 2013

This year’s Hari Raya promises to be a bigger celebration since there are more and more Muslims who celebrate this important day not just with vigilant prayer but by following traditional and modern Hari Raya customs. If you live in Singapore or if you plan to visit this city during Hari Raya then take part in local celebrations to be held in the Malay Village in the streets of Geylang Serai as well as in Kampong Glam, home of traditional Muslim royalty in the country. What’s best about celebrating Hari Raya in this area is that whether you are a local or a tourist you are welcome to take part in the many activities and celebrations.

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