Why we’re celebrating Hari Raya in Malaysia and Singapore
As a global organisation and with offices in Malaysia and Singapore, Salt observes national holidays and customs with staff working in these countries, as we do in our offices around the world. We are firm believers in every person being able to bring their full self to work, and that includes respecting celebrations around the world for staff in those locations.
About Hari Raya – introduced by Salt Singapore team member Mustika Ika Mustajab
Hari Raya in Arabic is called Eid or Aid. Muslims around the world celebrate Eid two times a year: celebrating first the end of Ramadan month and then secondly the festival of sacrifice.
Hari Raya is the translation of Eid in Malay language. Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى, romanized: ʿĪd al-ʾAḍḥā, lit. ’Feast of the Sacrifice’) or the Feast of Sacrifice is the second and the larger of the two main holidays celebrated in Islam.
“Eid Mubarak in Arabic = Selamat Hari Raya in Malay. To distinguish both Eid in Singapore and Malaysia, we will say Selamat Hari Raya Aidlfitri.”
Traditional attire is an essential part of Hari Raya, and many people take great care in selecting and coordinating their outfits, symbolizing renewal, and respect. The traditional outfits commonly worn in the region are Baju Kurung, consisting of a long, loose-fitting tunic and a matching headscarf, and Baju Kebaya, which are often embellished with intricate embroidery. Many families choose to wear matching outfits or coordinate the fabrics or colors they’re wearing, and it’s becoming popular for traditional fabrics or design elements to be incorporated into contemporary designs that are worn for holiday celebrations. The clothing worn during Hari Raya reflects cultural pride and identity.
Why Salt Singapore is commemorating Hari Raya in 2023
To commemorate Hari Raya during the 30 days that follow after the end of Ramadan, the Salt teams in Malaysia and Singapore will celebrate coming together with family and friends.
“Overall, Malam Raya is a time for reflection, preparation, and togetherness as families and communities come together to celebrate the upcoming Hari Raya festivities.”
Malam Raya is the night before Hari Raya, and it is a time for families to gather and prepare for the upcoming celebrations. In the days leading up to Malam Raya, each house undergoes a thorough spring cleaning and is decorated with new curtains, lamps, flowers, and other festive decorations. During open house gatherings, people enjoy delicious traditional Raya foods.
“The food served during Hari Raya is a highlight of the celebration, with a wide range of sweet and savory dishes available. From ketupat and lemang to rendang and lontong, the cuisine reflects the diverse cultures and traditions that make up the Malay community.”
In some communities, people will gather at the mosque to perform special prayers and recite the Takbir Raya, which is a declaration of God’s greatness and mercy. Another popular activity on Malam Raya is the tradition of “balik kampung,” which means returning to one’s hometown to celebrate Hari Raya with family and friends.
Pagi Raya is the first day of Hari Raya, and the day starts early with everyone dressing in their new traditional outfits. Eid prayers are performed in a nearby mosque, and after prayers, people set off to visit family members and friends. The atmosphere is filled with joy and excitement as everyone exchanges warm greetings and well wishes. During the following days of Hari Raya, people continue to open their homes to welcome visitors, sharing their joy and blessings with extended family members and friends.
Traditions: Green Packets Galore: How Kids Celebrate Hari Raya
Kids absolutely love Hari Raya because not only do they get to wear new traditional outfits, but they also get showered with gifts! And not just any gifts, but “Duit Raya” or “Green Packets” filled with money, which they can use to buy their favorite toys or treats.
These Green Packets are given to kids by adults during the Hari Raya celebration as a symbol of love and blessings. It’s like a surprise gift that the kids look forward to receiving from their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even family friends.
And the best part? The more relatives and friends you visit during the celebration, the more Green Packets you can collect! It’s a fun and exciting time for kids to visit and spend time with their loved ones while also receiving special gifts.
At Salt, we make it our mission to ensure that our employees feel comfortable in bringing their whole self to work and it was truly wonderful to see and learn about the celebrations at Salt Singapore, showing cultures and local activity.
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