On 15 Jun, 2018, Muslims in Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia will celebrate the auspicious festival of Hari Raya. It has been officially declared a public holiday in these countries. Eid-ul-Fitr, one of the most significant festivals of Muslims, is known as Hari Raya in Malay-speaking countries of Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei. This literally translates to "Big Day" or "Celebration Day". As per Hijriah or Islamic calendar the day falls on the first day of the Syawal month.
On this day, people greet each other by saying "Selamat Idul Fitri" or "Salam Aidilfitri" which means Happy Eid or "Eid Mubarak".
In Indonesia, Hari Raya Aidilfitri is known as Hari Raya Idul Fitri or Hari Lebaran. Hari Raya happens to be the most awaited holiday in Indonesia and on this day the entire country indulges in festivities. Ramadan Markets are crowded with people who are seen buying clothes and other festive items.
Special dishes such as Ketupat, Dodol, Lemang and other Indo-Malay delicacies are served on this day. Large crowds can be seen at hotels and restaurants which serve delicious Eid dishes.
Hari Raya in Malaysia is known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Hari Raya Idul Fitri or Hari Raya Puasa. Puasa literally translates to "Fasting". This signifies the breaking of the fasting month of Ramadan, prior to Hari Raya.
Muslims are under an obligation to observe a strict fast from dawn to dusk during the month of Ramadan. This period of fasting ends with the citing of the new moon. The day after the sighting of the crescent moon is declared as Aidilfitri.
During Hari Raya, people wear beautiful attires and gather at mosques to worship Allah.
After the morning prayers, people enjoy a hearty breakfast which is usually taken at home. Then they would visit cemeteries and clean the graves of loved ones. They pray and seek Allah’s blessings for the joyous new life of the deceased.
Malaysians usually greet Hari Raya Aidilfitri by saying "Selamat Hari Raya".
The first day of Hari Raya in Singapore is a public holiday.
Muslims in Singapore also celebrate Hari Raya with unabashed enthusiasm and zeal. Similarly Brunei, a Muslim country near Indonesia and Malaysia, celebrates Hari Raya as an important public holiday.
The day is blessed with Allah's grace. It calls for glorifying Allah the Great for his Rehmat. Kindness, love, brotherhood and peace are the hallmarks of Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Ramadan ends with grand Hari Raya Aidilfitri festivity. The beginning of the shawwal month is marked by the beautiful crescent moon.
People seek forgiveness for their past ill deeds. The worshippers also pray to the almighty for the fulfillment of their earnest wishes. People indulge in noble deeds such as making charity.
Exchange of delicious sweets, new apparels, and friendly visits are some of the most enjoyable features of Hari Raya.
Muslims greet each other by saying "Selamat Hari Raya" which connotes to "Happy Eid" in Malay. Another way to greet is by saying "Maaf Zahir dan Batin". This expression is a request for being forgiven for the past wrongs and reconciles a bitter relationship. It basically means, "I seek forgiveness (from you) physically and spiritually".
One can conclude by saying that Hari Raya Aidilfitri is a festival that celebrates life. At the same time, it does not let go the essential features such as worship, sincerity and honesty that are attached with the auspicious festival.