Hari Raya Puasa in Singapore
Hari Raya Puasa, also known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, is a significant religious festival celebrated in Singapore by the Muslim community. This festival marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. In Singapore, Hari Raya Puasa is a public holiday, which allows people from different ethnic backgrounds to come together and celebrate this joyous occasion.
The date of Hari Raya Puasa changes every year, as it is based on the Islamic lunar calendar. It is observed on the first day of the month of Shawwal, immediately following the end of Ramadan. Because the Islamic lunar calendar is approximately 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar, Hari Raya Puasa shifts forward each year.
The history of Hari Raya Puasa in Singapore can be traced back to the arrival of Muslim traders and immigrants, primarily from Malaysia and Indonesia, in the early 19th century. As Singapore's Muslim community grew, the celebration of Hari Raya Puasa became an integral part of the country's multicultural fabric.
National customs for Hari Raya Puasa in Singapore
Hari Raya Puasa is a time of spiritual reflection, forgiveness, and family bonding for the Muslim community in Singapore. One of the most important customs is to seek forgiveness from family members, friends, and neighbors, symbolizing a fresh start for the new year.
Muslims in Singapore also visit mosques to offer special prayers called "Solat Hari Raya Aidilfitri" in the morning. The prayers are followed by a sermon, where the imam reminds the congregation of the importance of gratitude, forgiveness, and unity.
After the prayers, it is customary for families to visit the graves of deceased loved ones, offering prayers and seeking blessings for their departed souls.
Singaporeans also celebrate Hari Raya Puasa by preparing and enjoying festive dishes with family and friends, such as ketupat (rice cakes wrapped in coconut leaves), rendang (a spicy meat dish), and kuih (traditional Malay cakes and pastries).
Local customs for Hari Raya Puasa in Singapore
In Singapore, Hari Raya Puasa is also an opportunity for people from different ethnicities and religions to come together and celebrate. Open houses are a common custom, where Muslim families invite friends and neighbors from various backgrounds to their homes to share food and experience the festivities.
Another local custom is the "Geylang Serai Bazaar," a large-scale night market held in the Geylang Serai district during the month of Ramadan leading up to Hari Raya Puasa. The bazaar offers a wide range of traditional Malay food, clothing, and festive items for people to enjoy and purchase in preparation for the celebrations.
Hari Raya Puasa in Singapore is a beautiful representation of the country's multiculturalism, where people from different backgrounds come together to celebrate this significant religious festival. It serves not only as a time of spiritual reflection for Muslims but also as an opportunity for Singaporeans of different faiths to learn about and appreciate each other's cultures and traditions.