It has been 2 years since the Covid-19 outbreak and many of us were not able to ‘Balik Kampung’ and celebrate Hari Raya like how we used to do pre-pandemic.
Therefore, this Raya we have come up with 8 things that we miss doing during Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
1. Cooking Raya Meals Together-Gather
It all starts from the aunties cutting onions while gossiping, uncles setting up the charcoal to cook the lemang while the cousins take turns stirring the dodol. Pretty sure this is the sight that we often see as Hari Raya creeps around the corner. Many Muslims are looking forward to cooking together with their grandparents, uncles, aunties and cousins for Hari Raya.
It is the type of family gathering that can hardly be found at any other time of the year, it’s a tradition that has been practised since long ago and continues to be practised into the far future as it represents the spirit of Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
2. House Visiting Till You Drop
Open houses are pretty much prevalent during Hari Raya and it is one of the main activities during Hari Raya Aidilfitri.This might be an activity that youngsters dread as there will be many mak cik bawang (Malay slang for gossiping aunties) asking them questions like “When are you getting married?”, “When are you going to have a child?”, “How much is your salary?” and many more head-inducing questions. Despite that, many people are still looking forward to this activity as they get to catch up with familiar faces, chit-chat and get entertained by some funny antics. After all, Hari Raya Aidilfitri is about bonding.
3. Eat Till You Gain Back All the Weights You Dropped
With so many open houses to visit, you definitely won’t be able to skip anything that the hosts serve on the table! We’re talking about mouth-watering hari raya cuisines like ketupat, rendang, lemang, lontong and many more! Plus, there are many treats or kuih raya to be enjoyed while chit-chatting, such as pineapple tarts and many more. What type of food are you looking forward to savouring this year?
4. Twinning Moment With Baju Raya
Dressing in coordinated outfits as a family is a must for Hari Raya Aidilfitri (although not strictly but just for fun). However, for the past 2 years, doing so didn’t feel as fun anymore. Fabrics are bought, and orders are placed even before Ramadan for the tailors to come out with matching outfits for the whole family. Most of the time, the whole extended family, from grandparents to grandchildren will go with the same colour or hue. Then, several photographs will be taken to remember the annual occasion. So what’s your Raya OOTD this year?
5. Sleeping Together in the Tiny Living Room
Sleeping together with cousins while facing their feet on the floor of grandparents’ house is one of the most anticipated activities during Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Cramping up together with a thin layer of blanket wrapping up the body is strangely comforting even for adults. Maybe it’s the smell of the kampung house, maybe it’s the sense of security being with the tribe, or maybe it’s the togetherness. However, one thing for sure, it is the most looked forward activity every year.
6. Green Packet Moment
There are 2 sides that will feel the joy during Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the one handing out the duit raya and the one receiving it. The value inside the green envelope doesn’t matter because it is the day when the young ones will seek forgiveness while the older ones will give out their blessings and hand out duit raya. The young ones will line up and take turns to seek forgiveness for all the mistakes that they have done in the past and start anew. It is a very meaningful tradition, and both sides are able to give and take. The feeling of finally being able to kiss the old wrinkled hands of our grandparents is simply indescribable.
7. Oh Oh Oh Balik Kampung
Joining the traffic jam that is longer than the Nile river while blasting raya songs? It can be torturous, especially when you are unable to apply for leave many days in advance and have to join the crowd for the last minute ‘Balik Kampung’. However, over the years, many of us managed to come up with interesting ways to beat that boring journey by meeting up with other families halfway at the R&R! Then, we will proceed to convoy and arrive together at Kampung.
After a long journey on the highway, the feeling of seeing the happy faces that pop out from the house in your kampung will make you feel that the torturous journey was all worth it!
8. Make the Night Sparks
Lighting up oil lamps around the kampung house and releasing fireworks is something that many Malays look forward to during Hari Raya Aidilfitri. If you grew up in a kampung, then you will be familiar with “malam tujuh likur”, where it will be lit for seven days leading up to the first of Syawal (which is the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri), and the kids can be seen playing with sparkles and fireworks at night.