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The much-awaited Eid-ul Fitr season has finally arrived. While our Muslim comrades would be busy preparing for the festivities; sprucing up their respective homes, preparing tasty Raya goodies and revamping wardrobes, the rest of the nation takes this opportunity to immerse in this unique celebration that offers unforgettable experiences to all individuals.

Annually, throughout the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadhan; Muslims throughout the world would fast by refraining from eating, drinking, smoking and committing acts of adultery from sunrise till sunset. It is also a time to purify oneself through acts of charity, avoiding negative thoughts and strengthening one’s bond with the Almighty.

Fasting is an extremely vital duty for a Muslim individual and the act is poised as a means of appreciating what the Almighty has blessed them with. Upon successfully fasting, one may achieve self-discipline and emulate what the less fortunate would have to face every single day.

Far from popular understanding, Hari Raya Puasa is not a Muslim New Year event. What this celebration truly stands for is the end of the fasting month for Muslims; filled with joyous events as well as traditions bringing the community together, practised since time immemorial.

Glance through to find out some of the things you should look out for this Hari Raya Eid-ul Fitr and what you can do to be a part of this amazing and culturally-rich Malaysian celebration that will ultimately paint the town red!

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Savour Scrumptious Raya Delicacies

Throughout this season, one would be able to find traditional and modern adaptations of Malay speciality dishes such as Lemang, Ketupat, Lontong, Laksa, Satay and Rendang. Malaysians and tourists alike absolutely enjoy these unique flavours that are bound to give one’s taste buds a treat!

During the festivities, millennials should have a go at learning how to cook the aforementioned cuisine and share it with family members and friends. If one does not take the effort to master making these culinary creations, someday they could just disappear and the Raya festivities would never be the same!

Attend a Raya Open House

Put on your most colourful traditional outfit and attend a Raya open house. What better way would there be for you to immerse yourself in the festivities. Gatherings such as these are the best avenue for one to catch up with friends and family members that you have not seen in months or even years!

It is common for Malaysians to ask each other, “tahun ini ada open house ke?”. Malaysians love open houses, so if you are having an open house this Raya don't forget to invite us alright!


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Carry Yourself Well at an Open House

If you are attending a Raya open house, you need not invest in expensive presents for your host.If you do insist on bringing something, simple gestures such as cookies, cakes and “kuih raya” will do the trick. Do take note that alcoholic beverages such as wine or champagne are absolutely not allowed at these events.

Non-Muslim guests need not invest in traditional Malay clothes however, doing so will please any host. That said, western clothing is completely acceptable but ladies should take note that revealing clothing is best avoided at all cost.


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Strut in Raya Style

It is common to see people donning bright shades on Hari Raya. Men usually wear a Baju Melayu, a loose tunic worn over the trousers usually complemented with a Kain Sampin - a short sarong wrapped around the hips and women usually wear a Baju Kurung, Baju Kebaya or Jubah. Muslim men usually complete the look with a “songkok” worn on their heads, while most women would commonly wear a “tudung.”


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Mend Ties with your Loved Ones

Traditionally on the first day of Raya children would line up in front of their parents and ask them for forgiveness. This is also when parents would usually hand over much-awaited “duit” Raya in creatively designed green packets.

As the popular saying goes, “Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir dan Batin”, loosely translated means “I seek forgiveness”, the Raya season is the best time for forgiving those who have wronged us and also for us to ask for forgiveness to those that we may have hurt.

You can start by making the first move with a good old handshake or going all out by giving a big bear hug!


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Light a “Pelita Panjut”

A “Pelita Panjut” is an oil lamp, made by filling up small canisters with kerosene and placing a wick on top. Usually one would fix these lamps on the top of bamboo poles. Right after that, one should arrange these lamps to create any desired pattern or place them traditionally in straight rows to guide the way to your home this Raya.

Traditionally, these hand made lights were used as a guiding flame that would lead people to the nearby mosque as roads in the kampung are usually not well lit after dark. If you don't want to go through the hassle of making a kerosene lamp, you could opt for the widely available battery or solar powered alternatives.


Conclusion

Now that you have explored the different facets of Malaysia’s Hari Raya festivities you are now all geared up to head out and have an unforgettable experience with loved ones as well as friends. Selamat Hari Raya to all readers, from all of us at PropSocial!

(By Viknesh Ashley Clarence, 4th June 2019)

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Enjoying my long break yay