Hey everyone! I took some time off from blogging... I was in my Raya mood for too long! hehe.. ;p Anyways, guess it's still ok for me to wish y'all a Selamat Hari Raya!!! - Here in Malaysia, we celebrate Eid for a month! haha (I was told that other muslim countries would only celebrate Eid on the first day of Syawal, or just a week, or some even didn't celebrate it! tskk)
Anyways.. Since I have many viewers outside Malaysia, I would like to share with you guys what normally we do on this special day of celebration that we called as Hari Raya (which literally means Celebration Day! hehe) - I was asked by my Muslim American reader to explain this! ^__^
The end of Ramadan (the holy month in Islam) is the end of fasting and the beginning of the new Islamic month, Syawal. So for Muslims, it is the end of a month of abstinence, reflection, charity and religious deeds and the beginning of the festivities and all the sense of renewal it brings! The days up to Eid has always been an exciting time for me, personally. Cuz it's the time that we get to gather all the families and relatives and get together, the time to seek forgiveness with each other, the time to enjoy the awesome food they serve, the time where I get new clothes, (although.....I often get new clothes for myself every other month! LOL. - But hey, which girl doesn't like new clothes, right?! ;p), the time where I get extra money that we called as Duit Raya which is normally were given to those younger, usually unmarried, family members and friends (glad I'm still in that category! More money for me! LOL), the time where we get to enjoy free food for a month because everyone is having an ‘Open House’, which is the Malaysian tradition where we literally open our doors to family, friends, and neighbours, Muslim and non-Muslim alike! It's the time where most of the Malay's homes or kitchens are stacked with yummy boxes of cookies and biscuits that we called as Kuih Raya! (My fave one would be anything with Cornflakes and oat/almonds in there! I like crunchy stuff!) And most importantly, it's the time where I have an excuse to look fabulous! ;p
In the days leading up to Eid, many return to their respective hometowns in order to celebrate with their families there. The normally crowded streets of Kuala Lumpur are deserted few days before the first day of Syawal or Eid, as people are starting to balik kampung/travel back to their hometowns in other parts of the country, to celebrate this special day with their loved ones, leaving the city quiet. However this year, our family celebrated our Raya in KL since both my grandparents from my dad and my mom's side has passed away, so we didn't stay for a few nights in the kampung like we did every year. (Read last year's preparation of Eid in my kampung here)
Wearing a hot pink baju kurung, Tie Rack scarf, Bally nude bag and Zara heels.
So anyway, on the first day of Eid, normally the first thing we do early in the morning is to take a special bath that we called as Mandi Sunat Hari Raya (it's just a normal bath, but we have to recite some verses before bathing) before we get dressed into our best Raya attire. For men, they'll wear the attire that we called as Baju Melayu complete with a sampin (a piece of cloth that's made out of a songket fabric, with gold thread, that would be wrapped around their waist) and a songkok (a black 'hat'), and for women, we'd wear our Baju Kurung. These are our national and traditional costume! hehe.. Then, we will go to the mosque for the Eidul Fitri prayers.
Back from the mosque, it is the time where we pay our respects to the parents/elders by kneeling in front of them, and kissing their hands, and requesting a blessing and forgiveness for any wrongdoings that we may have done.
And then it's time for Duit Raya!
My crazy, funny cousins!
All of my relatives from my dad's side
So that's a description of how we Malaysian celebrate our first day of Syawal or Eid! And lastly, wherever you are in the world, I would like to wish y'all, Eid Mubarak and Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir dan Batin!!! ^__^