Hari Raya Aidilfitri is a major celebration in the Muslim community that marks the end of Ramadan, the month-long period of fasting and spiritual reflection.
In Malaysia, Hari Raya is an important holiday, celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm.
The festivities begin with the sighting of the new moon, which marks the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Syawal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar.
In the morning of the first day, Muslims typically attend Eid prayers at the mosque, wearing their traditional Malay attire.
After prayers, the actual celebrations begin. First, families and friends gather to exchange greetings and forgiveness, a practice known as maaf zahir dan batin.
In addition, it is customary for children to seek blessings from their elders, who often give them money in the form of green packets, known as duit raya.
In Malaysia, it is also common for non-Muslims to join in the festivities and exchange greetings with their Muslim friends and neighbours.
One of the most important family aspects of Hari Raya is the food. Traditional Malay dishes such as rendang, ketupat and lemang are commonly served during the celebrations.
Rendang is a spicy meat dish cooked in coconut milk and spices, while ketupat and lemang are rice cakes. Other popular dishes include satay, a type of skewered grilled meat, and nasi impit, compressed rice served with peanut sauce.
Here are the letters from Starchild readers on the topic, Hari Raya.
“Hari Raya Aidifitri is approaching, and I am feeling very excited. Although I am not a Muslim, I will visit my Muslim friends on this special occasion. I look forward to playing with my friends and eating the yummy Malay delicacies. My Muslim friends usually give me some kuih muih (cookies) to eat at home.
“On Hari Raya eve, we will play with fireworks until midnight as a countdown to Hari Raya. Though I am sometimes very tired, I will wait with my friends till the clock strikes twelve (midnight) to wish them Selamat Hari Raya,” says Lim Sheng Hao, 10.
Jayden Tan Li Sheng, 11, writes: “There are many beautiful Hari Raya-themed decorations at the malls. I love to take photos of these beautiful settings, which includes kampung-style houses and lighting that looks like ketupat.
“I am looking forward to watching The Super Mario Bros movie together with my siblings, school friends and teachers during Hari Raya. Here’s wishing everyone Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri Maaf Zahir dan Batin to those who celebrate it.”
Naomi Claudine Cheah Xin Ling, 10, is looking forward to eating ketupat, lemang, rendang and kuah kacang during Hari Raya.
“I want to wish all Muslims in Malaysia Selamat Hari Raya. When Hari Raya comes, the most exciting part for me is the school holidays!”