JOHOR BARU: A downpour did not stop thousands of people from celebrating Hari Raya at the Johor royal family open house at Istana Pasir Pelangi.
People were seen flocking to the entrance of the palace since 9am with some using umbrellas, towels and even cardboards to shelter themselves from the pouring rain.
Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, clad in a simple peach shirt and long pants, spent about 15 minutes to meet and shake hands with the rakyat.
Also greeting visitors were Johor Permaisuri Raja Zarith Sofiah Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah, Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Tunku Puteri Johor Tunku Tun Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah and her husband Datuk Dennis Muhammad Abdullah, Tunku Temenggong Johor Tunku Idris Iskandar, Tunku Panglima Johor Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tunku Putera Johor Tunku Abu Bakar.
Visitors also took the opportunity to take photos and wefies with the royal family.
Apart from Malaysians, foreigners including those studying at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), also came to experience the Hari Raya open house.
Tajim Ahmad Aziz, 24, who hails from Afghanistan, was excited to experience Hari Raya in Malaysia for the first time.
“I have been here for about two years but this is the first time I get to experience Raya with the locals as I have been spending the festival back in my hometown for the past few years,” said Tajim, who is pursuing his Master’s degree in Computer Science.
Another UTM student was Nigerian Ibrahim Magira Tom, 25, who came with his wife and his university friends.
“Hari Raya is a very colourful festival in Malaysia and it is nice to see people of different races and even nationality coming together to celebrate the festivity.
“The Sultan of Johor is also a friendly and humble person, and I find it refreshing that he is allowing the public to share a space with him on such a special day,” he said.
Guests were treated to an array of traditional Malay dishes, including signature Raya delicacies such as ketupat and rendang as well as cookies.