Saturday, September 26, 2009

Eid Mubarak - The Malaysian Style

Eid Mubarak or Eid ul-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر ‘Īdu l-Fiṭr‎), often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity", while Fiṭr means "to break fast"; and so the holiday symbolizes the breaking of the fasting period. It is celebrated after the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan, on the first day of Shawwal.

In Malaysia, Eid is also commonly known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Hari Raya Idul Fitri or Hari Raya Puasa. Hari Raya literally means 'Celebration Day'. Muslims in Malaysia celebrate Eid like other Muslims throughout the world. It is and one of the biggest in Malaysia and is the most awaited one. Shopping malls and bazaars are filled with people days ahead of Hari Raya, causing a distinctive festive atmosphere throughout the country. Many banks, government and private offices are closed for this holiday.

The night before Eid is with the takbir which is held in the mosques or musallas. In many parts of Malaysia, especially in rural areas, pelita or panjut or lampu colok (as known by Malay-Singaporeans) (oil lamps, similiar to tiki torches) are lit up and placed outside and around the house. Eid also witnesses a huge temporary migratory pattern of Muslims, from big metropolitan cities to rural areas to celebrate the Eid with family members because the majority of Muslims are from rural areas. This is known as balik kampung in Malaysia — it means going back to the hometown. Special dishes like ketupat, dodol, lemang (a type of glutinous rice cake cooked in bamboo) and other delicacies are served during this day.

It is common to greet people with "Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri" or "Salam Aidilfitri" (in Malaysia) which means "Happy Eid". Muslims also greet one another with "maaf zahir dan batin" in Malaysia, which means "Forgive my physical and emotional (wrongdoings)", because Eid ul-Fitr is not only for celebrations but also the time for Muslims to ask for forgiveness for any sin which they may have committed but was cleansed as a result of the fasting in the Muslim month of Ramadan.

It is customary for Muslim-Malaysians to wear traditional cultural outfits on the Eid. The outfit for men is called baju melayu which is worn together with kain samping (made out of songket) and songkok (a dark coloured headgear); The women in Malaysia wear what is known as baju kurung and baju kebaya. For the non-Malay Muslims, they would sometimes don costumes that are peculiar to their respective culture and tradition.

Once the prayer is completed, it is also common for Muslims in Malaysia to visit the graves of loved ones. During this visit, they clean the grave, recite Ya-Seen, a chapter (surah) from the Quran and also perform the tahlil ceremony. All these are done to ask God to forgive the dead and also those who are living for all their sins.

The rest of the day is spent visiting relatives or serving visitors. They will visit the elders, in the family, the neighborhood, or their work, and show respect to them. They will also seek reconciliation (if needed), and preserve or restore harmonious relations Eid ul-Fitr is a very joyous day for children for on this day adults are especially generous. In Malaysia, children will be given token sums of money, also known as "duit raya" (stuffed in a small, green cloured packet), assimilated from the "ang pow'(red packet) given by the Chinese during their Chinese New Year's festival.














2 comments:

mast@work said...

ude look soooooo old in the first pic... maybe it's time to get a facelift.. pi la ude.. vit c ke, collagen ke.. cam atuk2 dah.. hehehehe

Dr. Honey said...

Macam Tok Hamid ek? Tapi masalahnya, masa pi Bukit Mertajam hari tu, suami kawan ende cakap muka Uda macam pelakon! Tak tau la pulak pelakon yang mana satu? Farah kata Jalaludin Hassan kot! ;-) Dulu Pah Auntie kata Uda macam Ridzuan Hashim! (Versi yang `tanned' sikit! huhuhu........)