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Eid Mubarak! Celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri in the New Normal

Photo credit: thesundaily.my

The moment the takbir (call for Raya prayer) can be heard echoing from afar, that is when we know that Hari Raya Aidilfitri (also known as Eidul Fitri) is just around the corner, ready to be celebrated. That marks the end of one month of fasting during Ramadhan. We can see that everybody starts to put a smile on their face, wider than they have during the fasting months as we know that Hari Raya Aidilfitri is the month of celebration for all, regardless the races of us Malaysians as we celebrate this distinctive festive together. At this time, Muslims around the world, including Malaysia, have started preparing to celebrate Hari Raya as a sign of victory that we made it throughout the fasting month and now it is the time for celebration. This is when family and friends get together and celebrate Raya with varieties of traditional delicacies after a full month of fasting in Ramadhan.

Unfortunately, this year around, Muslims in Malaysia once again celebrate Raya following the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) but don’t worry, our Raya will still be fun and enjoyable despite we are celebrating it in the new normal.

Let’s get to know how Muslims in Malaysia celebrate Raya in the new normal. For those who are still new to Malaysia and have not got the chance to see how Raya is celebrated here, in the new normal, then this post is for you.

CELEBRATING RAYA WITH YOUR LOVED ONES IN THE NEW NORMAL

Photo credit: thestar.com.my

So, this year’s Raya is celebrated differently as we are not able to indulge in the uniqueness of Malaysian custom of attending open houses. But with the blessing of technology, living in the millennium era has made life much easier as everything is at our fingertips. We can make use of the technology we have nowadays, for instance, we can have video calls with our relatives from far to send them our warm wishes on Hari Raya Aidilfitri. We usually kneel before our parents to seek forgiveness from them but this time around, we still seek for our parent’s forgiveness, it’s just that it is on the computer screen. We should still be thankful that with the help of the technological advancement, we can still celebrate Raya with our loved ones, virtually.

DELICIOUS FOOD TO BE SERVED DURING RAYA

Ketupat and rendang are the must have dishes during Raya. Hari Raya will definitely be somber without these dishes. Ketupat is a type of dumpling made out of rice packed inside a diamond-shaped pouch of woven palm leaves, best eaten with rendang.

Traditional delicacies to be served during Raya; source from timeout.com

Rendang is a dish made from chili, lemongrass, turmeric, shallot, garlic and not to forget the main ingredients; beef and coconut milk. The cooking suggestion of the rendang depends on individuals, some prefer it to be less spicy and some prefer it to be extra spicy. Thus, each state will have their own version of rendang according to their preferences and most of the time, they will claim theirs to be the most delicious but all types of rendang have their own unique taste and as a Malaysian, we just love them all!

Ketupat with rendang ; source from cutiepot.wordpress.com

THINGS WE USUALLY DO IN THE MORNING OF HARI RAYA AIDILFITRI

On the morning of Raya, we usually put on our traditional clothing which is Baju Melayu (for men) and Baju Kurung or Baju Kebaya (for women). These traditional clothing come in many colors and designs, depending on our own preferences.

During this special day, women will usually wear Baju Kurung or Baju Kebaya and men will wear Baju Melayu. For those who are keen to know more about Malay traditional clothings, stay tune for the upcoming article!

Baju Kurung & Baju Melayu : source from shopee.com.my

Since Raya is celebrated in the new norm, we have to adhere to the SOP; one of it is to wear face mask. Thus, a lot of us came up with the idea of pairing the color of the fabric face mask with the color of our traditional clothing to make it look nicer and more presentable.

The Raya prayer, a ritual prayer for Muslims on the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, is normally performed in congregation at mosques. After performing Raya prayer, imam will recite the sermon for about ten to fifteen minutes. The scenario of the Raya prayer performed at mosques is a bit different as compared to previous Raya as we have to adhere to the SOP set by the government. Hand sanitizers are provided at the entrance of the mosques. The total number of people going for Raya prayer is reduced as only a certain number of people are allowed in the mosques, this is because it is imperative that we keep the social distancing with one another and not to forget, we need to check in to the mosques using the MySejahtera application. 

Raya Prayer ; (keeping the 1m social distance) at the mosque; source from astroawani.com

All these are the safety measures to be observed all the time and not just during festive seasons. Just like the other aspects in life, the Raya celebration will definitely follow the new normal and adhere to the SOP set by the government. Celebrating Raya in the pandemic shouldn’t stop us from enjoying our long-cherished traditions and just remember to keep our spirit strong to face the Covid-19 crisis together. All these are the safety measures to be observed all the time and not just during festive seasons. Just like the other aspects in life, the Raya celebration will definitely follow the new normal and adhere to the SOP set by the government. Celebrating Raya in the pandemic shouldn’t stop us from enjoying our long-cherished traditions and just remember to keep our spirit strong to face the Covid-19 crisis together.

So, have a blast and enjoyable Raya with your loved ones and at the same time, keep in mind to always adopt and adapt to the new normal. If you have not reached out to your loved ones and think that you are celebrating Raya without your family members and your friends, just remember that you are not alone, as we are all in the same boat in celebrating this Raya during the pandemic. Thus, do not let this situation put you down. Lift up with a smile and make use of today’s technology by video-calling your loved ones using Facetime, Skype or WhatsApp. Send some warm Raya wishes and let them know that we are fighting this pandemic together, hoping that we could gather again in the next coming celebrations as being together with our loved ones is the best gift of all!

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