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Hari Raya Puasa is just a week away and here’s what to expect and prepare for this festive season!
Hari Raya translates to “day of celebration” and there are two types of celebration for the Muslims in Singapore.
Hari Raya Puasa, also known as Eid al-Fitr, refers to Festival of Breaking The Fast–the celebration for the end of Ramandan.
Hari Raya Haji, Eid al-Adha, on the other hand, refers to the Festival of Sacrifice, which falls about 70 days after the end of Ramadan. It’ll be mindful to understand this before heading for your visitations in the coming month!
If you’re unsure of the customs or culture behind these joyous occasions, you’re notalone. But fret not, we’ve gathered some insights and tips on etiquette when visiting during Hari Raya.
#1. Dress Code
There are no particular inauspicious colours to avoid when it comes to dressing for Hari Raya. However, it is a festive season, so do make an effort to pick a pop of colour.
It is important to keep in mind that your dressing has to be modest. You would want to leave a good impression at the host’s party.
- Mini skirts
- Sleeveless tops
- Tops with revealing neckline should be avoided when going for visiting.
As for footwear, find something comfortable and easy to take off and put on. Do remove footwear before entering the house, unless told otherwise.
As with all gatherings, it is important to first greet the host or the owner of the house when you arrive. A simple “Selamat Hari Raya”, which loosely translates to “Happy Hari Raya” or “Happy Holidays” would show courtesy and respect to the host.
It may be good to avoid having physical contact with the opposite gender when greeting. Some household maybe more strict than others, so refrain from doing it altogether.
It might be weird to you to do this with someone you’re not familiar with but before leaving, you may also depart with “Selamat Hari Raya, maaf zahir dan batin.” This loosely translates to “Do forgive any wrongdoings I may have done, spiritually or physically.” It can be seen as a form of respect to the elders and the hosts.
It is not a must to bring gifts when visiting during Hari Raya. However, if you are someone who feels showing up empty handed is a no, you can choose to bring some simple gifts for the host.
Nothing too extravagant is needed and please be mindful not to bring any alcoholic drinks or alcoholic desserts as gifts. Going for a box of pastries, cakes or kueh would be great for sharing. Do remember to check that they’re halal-certified before purchasing any!
The dishes prepared during Hari Raya is always filled with variety and you can expect a huge spread when it comes to a party. It’ll be nice to leave your stomach some space before visiting so you can enjoy it and not decline being offered food.
Always make it a point to wash your hands before having the meal even if the host provides cutlery. As the left hand is considered unclean, use your right hand to pass and receive food. Similarly, use only your right if you choose to eat with hands.
It may be a common feat during Chinese New Year or other traditional holidays to stand around and eat, however avoid doing so for Hari Raya as it might seem rude.
#5. Try not to overstay
Sometimes your friends or their parents might have more than just a few groups of guests. If you see new groups coming in, it’ll be good to take the cue to leave if you’ve stayed for more than a few hours.
The host might be too polite to ask you to leave and overstaying might be difficult for them to manage the crowd.
You can choose to keep your visiting time to two or three hours if you’re there in a big group.
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Apart from these tips, do note that some Hari Raya may be celebrated differently from families to families because of culture, it is always important to ask your friends if you’re unsure.
Now with these five simple tips on Hari Raya visiting, you’ll be ready to enjoy the festive season together with your Muslim friends. Have a happy Hari Raya!
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