Starchild: Why Malaysian children are looking forward to celebrating Hari Raya

Jayden Tan Li Sheng, 11

In Malaysia, one of the most exciting and colourful festivals celebrated by Muslims is Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Hari Raya marks the end of Ramadan, a holy month of fasting, prayer and reflection for Muslims around the world.

Liza Sara Rizal, 9Liza Sara Rizal, 9Hari Raya is a time of joy, forgiveness and togetherness. Families and friends come together to celebrate this special occasion. Houses are cleaned and decorated with beautiful lights and decorations. Everyone wears new clothes, usually traditional Malay attire, and children receive money known as “duit raya”.

Before Hari Raya, Muslims perform special prayers at the mosque and do charity work to help those in need. It’s a way of showing gratitude for all the blessings they have received during Ramadan.

One of the most delicious parts of Hari Raya is the food! Don’t you love to eat mouth-watering dishes such as rendang, ketupat, lemang and sweet desserts like dodol? Families often visit each other’s homes to enjoy these tasty treats together.

Nuri Marlena Fernandez, 5Nuri Marlena Fernandez, 5Another exciting tradition during Hari Raya is the “open house” where people invite friends, neighbours and even strangers to their homes to share food and celebrate together. It is a cultural practice that signifies warmth, hospitality and friendship.

But Hari Raya is not just about food and fun. It’s also a time for reflection and forgiveness. Muslims ask for forgiveness from each other for any mistakes they may have made in the past year. This helps strengthen bonds between family members and friends.

Hari Raya is a special time in Malaysia filled with love, happiness and unity. It reminds us of the importance of generosity, forgiveness and gratitude. It’s a time to cherish our loved ones and celebrate the blessings in our lives.

Here are the letters from Starchild readers on the topic, Hari Raya.

Jayden Tan Li Sheng, 11, wishes Selamat Hari Raya to all Muslims. “Wishing you and your family a warm and blessed Aidilfitri, showered with love and happiness, with laughter and joy! Selamat Hari Raya!”

Bethany Wang Qi Syuen, 9Bethany Wang Qi Syuen, 9“I would like to wish everyone a Happy Hari Raya. It’s a time for parents and children to take a break from their busy schedule and spend meaningful time together. I enjoy the public holidays, the yummy Hari Raya cookies and like to see fireworks lighting up the skies during this festive season,” writes Bethany Wang Qi Syuen, nine.

Five-year-old Nuri Marlena Fernandez says: “Happy Hari Raya! Today, I’ll wear my pretty baju kurung and visit my friends with my parents and my older sister. We’ll share tasty cookies, play games, and laugh together. What a fun day ahead.”

“During Hari Raya I’m going to my friend Abraham’s house. We are going to have lots of fun. My friends Olivia, Ja Qi, Ryder, Max and Henry are also going to be there. We are going to watch and play fireworks, eat satay and play games,” writes Misha Leon Murali, seven.

Lim Sheng Hao, 11Lim Sheng Hao, 11

“For Hari Raya, my friends and I are planning a mini open house! We’re decorating our backyard with colourful lights and setting up a tent for everyone to sit and enjoy delicious treats like kuih and cookies. I can’t wait for our special celebration,” writes Liza Sara Rizal, nine.

ITEM: Do you know that there’s a special day just for brothers and sisters? It’s called National Brothers and Sisters Day! This day is all about celebrating the wonderful bond between siblings like you. This is an extra special day to show appreciation for your siblings. It’s a chance to say thank you for all the times they’ve helped you, made you laugh, or just been there to hang out with. Starchild wants you to send in your special message to your beloved sibling. Don’t forget to send us a drawing, card or a photograph with your siblings.

Email your contributions to by April 19. Please put “STARCHILD: I Love My Siblings” in the subject line of your email.

Scanned drawings should be in jpeg format, with a resolution of 200dpi. Your contributions must carry your full name, age (open to children aged 12 and below only), gender, phone contact, and address. Instead of handwritten letters, please type out your letters.

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Starchild , Hari Raya


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