8 Interesting Facts About Hari Raya


Hari Raya Puasa marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and the start of a new month, Syawal.

Whether you are planning on visiting your Muslim friends during this Hari Raya Puasa or planning to head down to the last day of Bazaar, here’re 8 interesting things about Hari Raya Puasa you probably didn’t know.


#01 – Fasting is one of Islam’s Five Pillars

8 interesting facts about hari raya - fasting is one of five pillars


Being one of the five pillars is Islam. The importance of fasting among Muslims cannot be overemphasised.

Prior to the festival, Ramadan is a period of repentance for Muslims.

The purpose is to cultivate self-discipline. Besides fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims also refrain from smoking, sexual activities, and any sinful behaviour.


#02 – Muslim Pays Zakat During Ramadan

Annual taxes known as Zakat Fitrah are to be contributed by Muslims during the month of Ramadan. The rate is equivalent to 2.70 kg of rice or its equivalent value.

As one of the five pillars of Islam, Zakat serves principally as the welfare contribution to poor and deprived individuals.


#03 – Kongsi Raya – where double celebration do occur

From 1996 to 1998, Hari Raya Puasa and Chinese New Year actually fell on the same week!

Double celebrations then occurred amongst the Chinese and Muslim communities, which eventually led to the term “Gongsi Raya” or “Kongsi Raya”.


#04 – Oil Lamp aka Pelita Used to Attract Spirits and Angels

It is said that, in the days when Islam arrived among the Malays, the purpose of lighting oil lamps was to attract spirits and angels to descend to people’s homes during the night of Lailatulqadar.

Nowadays, the oil lamps are lit solely for decorative purposes and have become symbolic of Hari Raya Aidilfitri as with the pine tree for Christmas, kollum for Deepavali and red lanterns for Chinese New Year.


#05 – Begins with Grave Visiting


Muslims usually start first day with waking up early and begin their day with a trip to the mosque for special prayers. This is swiftly followed with visiting the graves of departed family members for an offering of prayers.


#06 – Ketupat are Traditionally Served

Hari Raya is filled with endless wonderful dishes. Not only served as a dish, ketupat is also commonly used as a decorative object.

Often, Muslim mothers will pass the tradition of weaving ketupat cases down to their children. Ketupat cases woven from colourful ribbons also typically decorates Malay homes during Hari Raya.


#07 – Hari Raya Puasa vs Hari Raya Haji

Hari Raya Aidilfitri is also known as Hari Raya Puasa. It is a celebration for completion of the fasting month.

Hari Raya Haji occus approximately three months after that. Where it marks the end of pilgrimage muslim made to the Holy City of Mecca.


#08 – Children receives Duit Raya

Children receive “duit raya” (which means festive money) in cute little colorful envelopes from adults after seeking forgiveness. It is considered an act of charity to give “duit raya” to kids and the elderly.

The general consensus is that you no longer receive duit raya when you enter the workforce and you are expected to give duit raya when you become a working adult.


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