Pic credit: Visit Kampong Gelam
While we live in a country with religious harmony, chances are we might not know much about the practices and beliefs of all religions in Singapore (maybe unless you’re a tour guide).
With Hari Raya Puasa coming up soon, some of us might be wondering what the holiday means to Muslims residing in Singapore. Wonder how your Muslim friends celebrate Hari Raya? Read on to find out more!
What is Hari Raya Puasa?
Pic credit: Time Out
Also known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Hari Raya Puasa, is also known as Hari Raya amongst Singaporeans. For Muslims, it signifies the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a period of dawn-to-sunset fasting.
Hari Raya typically falls on the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. The festival is about forgiveness and remembering loved ones, and it’s also considered a time to show gratitude to God.
Preparation for Hari Raya Puasa
Before Hari Raya itself, families typically break fast together, but doing so on the last day of Ramadan is exceptionally important. Families would gather to break fast on the eve of Hari Raya and perform Takbir, a prayer that is recited to express gratitude to Allah for the blessing of the holy month of Ramadan.
Families also typically come together on the eve of Hari Raya to make ketupat, a type of rice cake wrapped in coconut leaves and boiled. Ketupat is not only an integral dish during Hari Raya, but it’s also used as a decoration! Some families also spend the evening before whipping up a storm in the kitchen, and the food cooked is then shared with family members and neighbours
What happens during Hari Raya Puasa?
Muslims usually start their day off by visiting the mosque to perform their Eid prayers, which is a special prayer. Although it is not required for them to visit the cemetery during Hari Raya, many opt to do so in remembrance of family members who have left them.
Visiting is also an integral part of Hari Raya, but unlike Chinese New Year visiting, Muslims visit their elders to seek forgiveness for any wrongdoings they might have committed in the past year. While visiting the phrase “Selamat Hari Raya, maaf zahir dan batin” is often said, which means “Happy Hari Raya; I seek forgiveness for any physical and emotional wrongdoings”.
It’s also common for families to dress up in new clothes, with women usually wearing a baju kurung or baju kebaya, while men sport the baju melayu. Those with sharp eyes might have also noticed that families often wear the same colour, which symbolises unity, reminding them that they come from the same roots.
Another common practice during Hari Raya is giving sampul duit raya, more commonly known as green packets. These are usually given to the elderly and young children, with some choosing to give duit raya to unmarried adults as well.
One of the most integral aspects of Hari Raya is, of course, food. Gathering together as a family to feast might just be the highlight of Hari Raya for some, with a feast spread out for visitors. From rendang to lontong and an endless variety of kueh and snacks, the festive period is a time for celebrating with family and good food!
Supporting small businesses during Hari Raya
Another common sight during Hari Raya would be that of bazaars, where you can find everything ranging from food and drinks to clothes and even decorations. One of the most well-known bazaars in Singapore is the Geylang Serai Bazaar, which was popular among non-Muslims as well!
However due to COVID-19 restrictions, most bazaars this year have been cancelled. If you’re looking for some festive snacks, decorations or even outfits for you and your family this Hari Raya, here are some small businesses to check out!
If you like ordering from a variety of places, Pacquetz is the platform for you! The recently launched app allows small home-based businesses to list their products on the platform, and customers can then select what goodies they would like delivered to their house!
Some examples include Peace & Love, a Muslim-owned home-based business that specialises in unique drinks such as Cotton Candy Italian Soda, Ondeh Ondeh Iced Coffee. The platform has over 50 partners listed, with a majority of them Halal certified or Muslim owned.
Pic credit: whatjabakin
If you’re looking for snacks for you and your loved ones to munch on this Hari Raya, whatjabakin has just the treats for you! The Muslim-owned bakery specialises in chocolate chip cookies, which come in a medium ($25) and large ($35) bottle! The goodies can either be collected at Fajar Road, or you may choose to top-up an additional $10 for delivery islandwide.
Pic credit: yumsbycha
Known for their delicious Vietnamese rolls, yumsbycha offers the perfect finger food to serve when your relatives come to visit. The home-based business offers the rolls in 3 different fillings: beef, prawn and duck. There is also the option of getting an omelette base instead of a vegetable base. Each box costs $12 and comes with 4 rolls and a mouthwatering spicy sauce. You can either opt for islandwide delivery at $10, or self collect your Vietnamese rolls from Canberra.
Pic credit: Hawraa.Sg
For those who prefer more traditional goodies, Hawraa.Sg specialises in handmade kueh! The shop offers a wide variety of kuehs, with a different line-up available each week. While there will be talam keladi and Florentine cookies available for Hari Raya, Hawraa.Sg also has special Ramadan platters that include a unique selection each week. The cost of these platters include islandwide delivery.
Pic credit: simplyrays
One of the most fun parts of Hari Raya is getting to dress up with your family, and if your family loves to wear matching outfits, Simplyrays is the perfect shop! The homegrown brand carries a variety of outfits for the whole family, and they come in an array of designs and patterns! They also have a physical shop located at Golden Landmark, but do note that you will need to make an appointment online before heading down.
L Ú B N A
Pic credit: L Ú B N A
For those who prefer something a little more modern, L Ú B N A promises the best of both worlds. The size-inclusive store carries a wide variety of Hari Raya clothes, ranging from kurung kedah to kebayas. If contemporary prints and textured fabrics aren’t your thing, the shop also features classic designs. They are also available on Zalora, which means you can make use of their Hari Raya sale to enjoy better deals!