Malaysia is a multicultural country full of people from different races and religions. If you have read our previous posts, you would have realized that most Malaysians are Muslims and Islam plays a significant role in shaping the culture in Malaysia, including the Malaysia Eid celebration. You can learn more about Malaysia or the Malay language here.
For the past few days, the Muslim community worldwide has been occupied with one of the two Islamic celebrations they have yearly. Muslims in Malaysia also made preparations to celebrate eid accordingly. But have you ever wonder what exactly the Muslims are celebrating and how they do it in Malaysia?
Eid, also known as 'Hari Raya' by Malaysians, is a Muslim holiday and also a public holiday in Malaysia. The Malay word 'Hari' means 'day', while Raya can be translated as 'celebration'. Many people ask if it is the same as Christmas; the answer is yes and no. It could be the same as the Muslims treat Eid celebrations just as important, but the reason for the celebration is not the same.
Furthermore, there are two types of Malaysia Eid celebration that any Muslim celebrate yearly: Eid-Ul-Fitr and Eid-Ul-Adha.
Eid-ul-Fitr is also called Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Hari Raya Puasa (puasa= fast). It will always come first in an Islamic calendar as it is celebrated after the month of Ramadan. The celebration is important to the Muslims because it commemorates their efforts in fasting the whole holy month of Ramadhan.
Starting from the first day of Ramadan, Muslims are required to fast from dawn to dusk for 30 days. In general, if you stay in Malaysia, you usually have to fast, starting from around 6:00 AM until 7:30 PM. After breaking their fast, Muslims would continue their religious practices and perform the Tarawih Prayer at their local Mosque as per the orders of Allah.
Before the Hari Raya, under normal circumstances, men and women will flock to shopping malls to buy new outfits, which they call 'Baju Raya' (baju=clothes). Malaysians usually would wear traditional Malay clothing like Baju Kurung, Baju Kebaya, and Baju Melayu as Baju Raya.
A day or two before Eid-al-Fitr, Malaysians would gather in their hometowns to celebrate Raya with their families and loved ones. Usually, big cities like Kuala Lumpur would be empty at this time of the year since most of them would return to their relatives' villages. Usually, the house decorations would consist of fairy lights, oil lanterns, and money envelopes.
On the first day of Eid, Muslims would start the day with Eid prayers at the mosques and eat traditional festive dishes in the morning. Some of the famous Raya dishes served in Malaysia include ketupat, rendang, nasi impit, lemang, and many more. Kuih Raya (kuih= traditional biscuits) is also served on the table in beautiful tins or containers for the family and visitors. There is no point in dieting during Raya. However, it would be sad not to enjoy the feast!
It is very common for family and friends to visit each other during the rest of the month. Raya also means there will be many open houses to visit. These open houses were held not just for Muslims but also for all; this is because it is crucial in Islam to honor people's relationships between friends and family. Raya goes on for the whole month, and during this time of the year, every social media account would be flooded with Raya OOTDs. The children would also spend the night playing sparklers with their cousins, friends, and neighbors.
Eid-ul-Adha is the Raya that Muslims have been commemorating for the past week (20-21/7/2021). The people of Malaysia also call this Eid Hari Raya Korban (korban = sacrifice) or Hari Raya Haji (haji = pilgrim).
This eid festival is celebrated to commemorate the Prophet Ibrah9pilgrimim's act of obedience towards Allah, by 'sacrificing' his son. Hence the word 'korban' is used. It is also the Hajj (pilgrim) season, where Muslims all around the world would perform the pilgrimage at the holy land of Mecca. However, for those who could not perform their pilgrimage and prayers in Mecca, they would honor the festive in their local hometown.
In the morning of Eid-ul-Adha, Muslims would perform their eid prayers at their local mosques. After the prayers, the men would stay at the mosque to take part in the sacrificial ceremony; meanwhile, the women would usually prepare a feast in the house. The ceremony is the slaughter of four-legged livestock, mainly goats or cattle in Malaysia, as a symbol of sacrifice to Allah. However, the livestock involved is donated by those who can afford it. After slaughtering and processing the meat, it will be distributed to the poor and needy. If observed, these events will seem more religious and Islamic compared to Eid-ul-Fitr.
|Hari Raya Aidilfitri / Hari Raya Puasa||Eid-Ul-Fitr|
|Hari Raya Korban/Hari Raya Haji||Eid-Ul-Adha|
|Baju Raya||Traditional Festive Clothes|
|Kuih Raya||Traditional Cookies|
Now that you already grasp the basics of the Malaysia Eid celebration Let's look at the current Eid situation in Malaysia. As mentioned in our previous post, the recent pandemic has caused people unable to enjoy any type of Malaysian holidays as usual, especially now when the situation is getting worse. However, Malaysians are still keeping festive going in their own houses. Of course, people have to settle with online shopping and video calls instead of visiting family around the country, but it is not a reason to forgo festivals and have a good time.
This turn of events does not mean participating in the Malaysia Eid celebration is impossible during the Raya season. This is your chance to learn the Malay language as much as you can before the borders open up, and the best way to do that is through Ling App by Simya Solutions. Ling App also offers many other language lessons for free. Chances like this do not always come. Grab it now! It is never too late to experience the Malaysia Eid celebration yourself!