Understanding Our Festival: Ramadan, Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji

6/10/2016

The steps of Hari Raya is fast approaching but how much do you know about this festival? If you are as curious as I was, read till the end of the article to find out more about this festival celebrated by Muslims all over the world.

Other than having cookies and pastries, feasting on good food, hanging up colourful lights and asking for forgiveness, there is one very fun thing you can do in these celebrations. Get dressed in traditional costumes such as the Baju Kurung.

Moving ahead with modern times, you can now bid goodbye to boring, traditional costumes. You can go visiting now dressed in these 2016 Hari Raya fashion pieces. These apparels are put together by prominent designers breaking the stereotypes of how ethic pieces should look like. Just like the Chinese Cheong Sam that is given a modern twist so that they can be wearable on normal days, these Baju Kurung are given a modern new look.


Image credit: Zalora


Check out some of my favorite pieces brought together by Zalora.

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Singapore is a multinational, multicultural country hence it is not uncommon to see a Chinese Temple, a Hindu Temple and Malay Mosque lining the same street or even located side by side, or back to back. This June, Muslims all over the world celebrate the Ramadan.



As a Chinese surrounded by Muslim friends, I too, am often curious about this whole festival is about. I finally decided to dive deeper into the topic to understand this festival, which is celebrated by my fellow Muslim neighbors and friends.

While taking time to dress up and prepare to join your Muslim friends for the occasion, I encourage you to take time and get to know this unique festival.

 
Photo of a Sultan Mosque in Singapore, Kampong Glam

Ramadan (Month of fasting)
☾ This year 2016, the Ramadan takes place from (6 June - 6 July) according to the 9th month in the Islamic calendar.
☾ During Ramadan, Muslims have to abstain themselves from Food, Water, Smoking and even Sexual activities.
☾ Anyone who hits puberty must fast, with the exception of those whom are ill, or doing strenuous work.
☾ Fasting usually takes place from dawn to dusk.
Sahur (Meal before Imsak or pre dawn meal ) starts as early as 4AM and stops 10 minutes before dawn (also known as Imsak). Such meals can be in the form of dates, or a full meal.
☾ Breaking fast (Iftar) happens around 7pm (sunset), where it is broken by having a date before the full meal.
☾ Some people may not be able to complete the fast due to illness or being unwell, they will have to payback before the following Ramadan, or pay a sum of money calculated based on the number of days missed fasting known as fidyah.
☾ The idea of fasting brings the Muslim closer to God by allowing themselves to abstain from worldly pleasures as well as to remind them of the suffering of the less fortunate.
☾ This is an auspicious month where the Muslim engage in physical and spiritual discipline and charity.



Hari Raya Puasa/ Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Festival of Breaking Fast)

☾ Celebrated in Syawal (Month after Ramadan)
☾ Muslims are not allowed to fast during the month
☾ On the mornings of Hari Raya Puasa, members of the family seek forgiveness from their elders after their prayers at the mosque. Young children are given green packets containing money.
☾ Some families would also visit the cemetery to pay respects to their departed loved ones.
☾ During the period, families are dressed in similar colours as a sign of unity.

Hari Raya Haji
☾ End of annual Haj
☾ Period where Muslims travel to Mecca to perform pilgrimage

After understanding about the different festivals, you should go soak in the fun as you busk along Geylang Serai. For one month from June 4, 2.8km of Geylang Serai from Still Road to Lorong 101 Changi Road will be covered in lights and festivities that everyone, will be invited to take part in, ahead of Hari Raya Puasa on July 6.


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Disclaimer:
This article is put up with reference taken from a few sites and proper credits given to the relevant parties at the end of the post.


Be You.


Credits to :

The New Paper Singapore - "Not Even Water?'' Ramadan questions answered".
The Finder "The Beginner's Guide to Ramadan And Hari Raya Puasa In Singapore".
The Straits Time "Hari Raya light-up to be more spectacular and carry a deeper meaning".
Photos from Pixabay
We generally stop eating and drinking at imsak - about 10 minutes before dawn.
We are encouraged to wake up early - around 4am to 5am in Singapore - to eat something before imsak. This meal is called sahur. For some, it's a couple of dates, for others, it can be a full meal.
- See more at: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore-news/not-even-water-ramadan-questions-answered?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#link_time=1465295207
We generally stop eating and drinking at imsak - about 10 minutes before dawn.
We are encouraged to wake up early - around 4am to 5am in Singapore - to eat something before imsak. This meal is called sahur. For some, it's a couple of dates, for others, it can be a full meal.
- See more at: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore-news/not-even-water-ramadan-questions-answered?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#link_time=1465295207
We generally stop eating and drinking at imsak - about 10 minutes before dawn.
We are encouraged to wake up early - around 4am to 5am in Singapore - to eat something before imsak. This meal is called sahur. For some, it's a couple of dates, for others, it can be a full meal.
- See more at: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore-news/not-even-water-ramadan-questions-answered?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#link_time=1465295207
We generally stop eating and drinking at imsak - about 10 minutes before dawn.
We are encouraged to wake up early - around 4am to 5am in Singapore - to eat something before imsak. This meal is called sahur. For some, it's a couple of dates, for others, it can be a full meal.
- See more at: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore-news/not-even-water-ramadan-questions-answered?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#link_time=1465295207

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