Muslims across the world observe their new year through Hari Raya. In Malaysia, it is known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Muslims observe a month of fasting during the month of Ramadan. After that, they celebrate the Festival of Breaking Fast. This is known as the Eid Al-fitr which is known as Sweet Festival and Sugar Feast in other parts of the world.
Unlike other festivals, Hari Raya Aidilfitri is not so much about the new year. It comes as the Syawal month of the calendar. Since Muslims observe 30 days of fasting, they will subsequently celebrate 30 days of Aidilfitri.
In Malaysia, Hari Raya Aidlifitri is known as Hari Raya Puasa although it is not so commonly used these days. During the first day of the festival, the Muslims will wake up early in the morning. They will then visit the mosque where they offer thanks for their blessings and some visit the family’s grave to pay respect.
Muslims will be dressed up to their best in traditional baju melayu, baju kurung, kebaya and such during this festival. The children will visit their parents to seek forgiveness which they will then get ‘duit raya’. This refers to green packets with small amounts of money inside as a gift given out during Hari Raya.
Malaysians are known to host open houses during Hari Raya. This is where people from all walks of life will visit the homes of Muslim families where they will be served with sumptuous spreads of Malay food like Nasi Lemak, Ketupat, Ayam Masak Merah and others. Meanwhile, you will find that there are many corporate companies that host such events too where they invite their customers, partners and employees to a day of feasting and celebrations.