To mark the end of Ramadhan, Muslim around the world celebrating Eid al-Fitr and in Malaysia this festival is called Hari Raya (Day of Celebration). It is a day full of grand celebration with people spend it with the loved ones and family followed by scrumptious feast throughout the day. In Malaysia it warrants two days of public holidays and up to a month of celebrations. Maaf zahir batin is a common greeting during raya month which can be literally translated to “I seek for forgiveness” as Hari Raya is a time for reconciliation between family and friends.
Should you wish to experience this festive festival yourself, here are some of the tips for you to plan your holiday and celebrating Eid in Malaysia a distinctive experience:
It is a tradition for Malaysian to return to their birthplace or their family home during Hari Raya. Tickets for any kinds of public transportation like plane, train and bus will probably be sold out as tickets for the journey back home are often booked months in advance. Highways and national roads around countries will be congested and travelling time are expected to be longer. If you plan to travel during this festive week, plan your itinerary early to avoid disappointment and try to secure your means of transportation and accommodation earlier. However, major city like Kuala Lumpur will be less crowded, much more slower compared to other days. Fret not, there will still be plenty of places open if you need to do some shopping, eating or visiting.
This is the best time to sample the best traditional Malay homecook cuisine such as ketupat, rendang, lemang, kuih raya and many more. Rendang is prepared by cooking the meat or chicken with variety of spices and herbs with coconut milk for several hours. This dish is normally served with ketupat or lemang. Ketupat or rice dumpling is specially made by boiling the glutinous rice or rice in special woven container made from palm leaves. Lemang, which is almost similar to ketupat, which is also made from gluttinous rice, is another traditional dish during Hari Raya. The difference between Ketupat and lemang lies mainly in the ingredients and how the dish is prepared. While ketupat are often boiled and contain only gluttinuous rice, lemang on the other hand are prepared by cooking the gluttinous rice with coconut milk in a hollow bamboo tube on a small fire.
Visiting friends and family houses is one of the best experience during Raya. If you have acquaintance in Malaysia, plan your visit to their home and mingle with the locals and enjoy the special delicacies prepared by the host. Take this opportunity to dress in traditional costume like baju kurung for ladies and baju melayu for the gents. While you might be inclined to bring the host gifts for their invitation, you are not required to do so as for most hosts, the presence of the guest is considered a gift for them.
All in all, being one of the major festival that is celebrated in this country, it will be an oppurtunity one should not miss while being here. Despite the celebration are heavily rooted in the islamic religion , the festival itself are celebrated by people from different religions and from all walks of life and it is without any doubt that it would be an amazing experience to make your stay in this country more memorable. With the above guidance, we hope that you will be able to enjoy your stay and to celebrate this celebration to your fullest.
Eid Mubarak and Selamat Hari Raya
Updated:: 22/06/2018 [azlida_jamil]
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 UPM Serdang
Selangor Darul Ehsan