Hari Raya Puasa in Singapore
Hari Raya Puasa, also known as Eid al-Fitr, is a significant religious
holiday celebrated by Muslims in Singapore and around the world. It marks
the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and prayer. The
holiday is a joyous occasion that involves communal prayers, feasting, and
acts of charity.
Here's how Hari Raya Puasa is celebrated in Singapore:
Fasting During Ramadan
The celebrations of Hari Raya Puasa follow the completion of Ramadan, during which Muslims fast from dawn until sunset. Fasting includes abstaining from food, drink, smoking, and other physical needs during daylight hours.
The exact date of Hari Raya Puasa depends on the sighting of the moon, which marks the end of Ramadan. Once the moon is sighted, the holiday is officially announced.
On the morning of Hari Raya Puasa, Muslims gather at mosques or open prayer grounds for special congregational prayers known as the "Salat al-Eid." These prayers are a form of gratitude to God for the strength to complete the fast and seek blessings for the future.
After the prayer services, Muslims exchange heartfelt greetings of "Eid Mubarak," which means "Blessed Eid." This is a way to express good wishes and share the joy of the occasion.
It is a tradition for Muslims to wear new or their finest clothes on Hari Raya Puasa. This signifies a fresh start and adds to the festive atmosphere.
Visiting Relatives and Friends
After the prayer services, families visit the graves of loved ones to pay respects and offer prayers. They also visit the homes of relatives, friends, and neighbors to exchange greetings and well wishes. It's common for people to open their homes to guests during this time.
A significant aspect of Hari Raya Puasa is the feasting that takes place after a month of fasting. Special dishes and sweets are prepared, and families and friends gather to enjoy elaborate meals together. Some traditional Malay dishes like rendang (spiced meat dish) and ketupat (rice dumplings) are commonly served.
Charity (Zakat al-Fitr)
Before the Eid prayers, Muslims are encouraged to give a form of charity known as "Zakat al-Fitr" or "fitrah." This is obligatory for those who can afford it and ensures that even the less fortunate can join in the festivities.
Homes and streets are often decorated with colorful lights, banners, and festive decorations to create a joyful ambiance.
Cultural Performances and Events
Hari Raya Puasa celebrations in Singapore often include cultural performances, exhibitions, and events that showcase the diversity and vibrancy of the local Muslim community.
Hari Raya Puasa is a time of renewal, gratitude, and unity for Muslims in Singapore. The celebrations emphasize the importance of family, community, and spiritual reflection.