Hari Raya is the most celebrated and prominent occasion in the Muslim community, here in Malaysia. Hari Raya also know as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and the start of a new month, Syawal.
Here are 6 Interesting Facts about Hari Raya that you probably did not know.
#01 Fasting is one of Islam's Five Pillar
Being one of the five pillars is Islam. The importance of fasting among Muslims cannot be overemphasised. Prior to the festival, Ramadan is a period of repentance for Muslims. The purpose is to cultivate self-discipline. Besides fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims also refrain from smoking, sexual activities, and any sinful behaviour.
#02 Muslim pays Zakat during Ramadan
Annual taxes known as Zakat Fitrah are to be contributed by Muslims during the month of Ramadan. The rate is equivalent to 2.70 kg of rice or its equivalent value. As one of the five pillars of Islam, Zakat serves principally as the welfare contribution to poor and deprived individuals.
#03 Oil Lamp aka Pelita used to Attract Spirits and Angles
It is said that, in the days when Islam arrived among the Malays, the purpose of lighting oil lamps was to attract spirits and angels to descend to people’s homes during the night of Lailatulqadar. Nowadays, the oil lamps are lit solely for decorative purposes and have become symbolic of Hari Raya Aidilfitri as with the pine tree for Christmas, kollum for Deepavali and red lanterns for Chinese New Year.
#04 Traditional Outfits is Worn on Raya
In the past, most Malay traditional outfits were tailored (tempah) and had to be sent to respective tailors weeks before Hari Raya Puasa. Due to the busy lifestyles many have decided to avoid the hassle by simply shopping for their outfits online. As part of the occasion, men don on the baju melayu while the ladies wear their baju kurong or kebaya. Most families will probably spot thematic outfits, demonstrating the importance of family.
#05 Ketupat are Traditionally Served
Hari Raya is filled with endless wonderful dishes. Not only served as a dish, ketupat is also commonly used as a decorative object. Often, Muslim mothers will pass the tradition of weaving ketupat cases down to their children. Ketupat cases woven from colourful ribbons also typically decorates Malay homes during Hari Raya.
#06 Children Receives Duit Raya Children receive “duit raya” (which means festive money) in cute little colorful envelopes from adults after seeking forgiveness. It is considered an act of charity to give “duit raya” to kids and the elderly. The general consensus is that you no longer receive duit raya when you enter the workforce and you are expected to give duit raya when you become a working adult.