After weeks of busy cleaning, sweeping, washing and decorating their house as well as baking and stocking up plenty of food and Kuehs during Ramadan, Sarin’s family got their house spick and span and is ready for the Hari Raya Puasa celebration. They are looking forward to light up their house for Hari Raya Puasa.
Hari Raya Puasa marks the end of Ramadan and is also the celebration of the end of Ramadan. It is also seen as the Malay New Year in Singapore and South-east Asia region. The Malay communities in the region will have a month long of festive celebration and have 3 grand days of celebration beginning of the festive season.
On the arrival of the Hari Raya Puasa, Sarin’s family start their day by dressing up in their new clothing and visit the mosque for Hari Raya Puasa prayers in the morning. The family dresses in their newly tailored traditional Malay costumes. Sarin, Hairu and their father wear “Baju Malayu” (a loose shirt with trousers) and put on the “Song Kok” (Malay Traditional Head dress) whereas Fatimah and her mother wear the “baju kurung” (a loose-fitting full length dress) with a “tudung” (a kind of Malay headscarf). The family dressed in the same colour to signify their unity and togetherness.
Sarin’s family has an open house for their relatives and invited friends after the morning prayers and spent the rest of the day receiving, entertaining and celebrating the festive day with their guests. They serve their guests all the different kinds of home-made Malay kuehs and pastries such as Pandan cakes, pineapple tarts, ‘ondeh-ondeh’, and ‘putu piring’, ‘kueh lapis’, ‘kueh bangkit’, ‘ kueh kosui’,‘kuehSeri Muka’, ‘Kueh Gulung’ and ‘Karipap’. The guests also get to taste the traditional Malay delicacies specially prepared by Sarin’s mother. There are spicy beef ‘rendang’, mutton ‘rendang’, vegetable curry ‘sayur lodeh’ and Malay rice cakes called ‘ketupat’ and many more.
It is the 1st day of Hari Raya Puasa – a special day.
It is a special day for the family as they treasure the family togetherness, the sharing and blessings with friends and relatives.
It is a special day for their father as his colleagues will drop by, his checker ‘Kakis’ cum neighbours, Ah Chong’s family and Gopal’s family are also visiting him and he will also be catching up with his long lost friend, Diam from JB town.
It is a special day for their mother as she can recall her sweet old memories with her kampong friends and relatives from Ubin Island.
It is a special day for Fatimah as she can enjoy the delicious coconut fresh filled ‘putu piring’, the sweetened palm sugar filled ‘ondeh-ondeh’ made by her mother.
It is a special day for Hairu as he can play with his cousin Rosaline as well as receiving lots of “green packets” with cashs from relatives to fill up his coin bank.
It is a special day for Sarin as his classmates Mohan, Nazli, Ah Hong and his neighbours Ah Yong brothers are going to visiting him and make merry.
Singapore is a multiracial society and it is common for different races to greet and join in the celebration of other races and their festivals by house visiting and giving gifts. There are also some cultural influences among the races such as giving out “green packets” to the elders and the kids for blessing during Hari Raya Puasa. This is similar to the Chinese tradition of distributing “red packets” during Chinese Lunar New Year. The different communities also organise festive events in various locations in Singapore to mark their festivities so that all races can participate and achieve harmony. Some of the events are the Bazaars in Geylang Serai during Hari Raya Puasa (Malay New Year), the Light Up in Serangoon during Deepavali (Indian New Year), The Chingay road show in Orchard Road during Chinese New Year and the Orchard Road Light-Up during Christmas.
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