Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri! Happy Eid!
After a month of Ramadhan (Fasting month), this is the day which mark the culmination of the holy month, the day of the celebration of the Muslim New Year.
During the fasting month, muslims abstain from eating and drinking daily between sunrise and sunset. Smoking and sexual relations are also forbidden during fasting. At the end of the day people break fast with a prayer and a meal called iftar.
Side note: Fasting during Ramadhan is one of the five tenets/ pillars of Islam:
1) Syahada (Belief in one God)
2) Salat (Five times prayer a day)
3) Zakat (Almsgiving)
4) Siyam (Fasting during Ramadhan)
5) Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca)
After a month-long fasting, Muslims celebrate Id-al-Fitr (the Feast of Fast Breaking), we called it Aidilfitri in Malaysia, which is the first day of the month of Syawal. Aidilfitri signifies the spirit of forgiving and family reunion. In Malaysia, people from cities 'balik kampung' to reunite with their familities in hometown. During this time, people ask for each other's pardon and forgiveness for whatever past quarrels, by salam (handshake) and kissing the hands of the elders as a sign of respect.
On the first day of Aidilfitri, muslims congregates at mosques for morning prayers. I passed by the East London Mosque which is situated near my house last year, and the voices of prayers from the mosque sounded so homely, I felt I am back to Malaysia.
What I love about Hari Raya Puasa in Malaysia is the culture of Open House, and visits from house to house to wish one another "Selamat Hari Raya". The place I stayed in Malaysia is in a Malay community, hence we enjoyed visiting our neighbours and exchanging gifts and cookies during Raya. I particularly love the ketupat (triangular shaped rice cake) with rendang!
Putting up my baju kurung (Malay Traditional clothes for female), I am ready to pay visits to my Malay friends and wish them
"SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDILFITRI!"
"MAAF ZAHIR BATIN"