IPOH: Hari Raya next month will definitely be a new experience for the majority of Muslims here in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is uncertain if the movement control order (MCO) will be extended beyond May 12, and many have decided that celebrations this year will be among immediate family members only.
Many felt that even if the MCO is not extended, social distancing should still be practised – until and unless a vaccine is found.
Planner Hezeryn Rose Hussein, 43, said Hari Raya celebrations this year would be a low-key event.
She said this way, she would be able to reflect, and appreciate all of the things she had or enjoyed prior to the MCO.
Hezeryn said the definition of Aidilfitri is to celebrate one's one-month abstinence from eating, drinking and deeds one should not be doing.
"It's a good way for your body to cleanse itself of all the toxic stuff you put in and also to heal your soul.
"For me, a modest celebration is sufficient as there will be no wastage, although others might differ.
"We can actually save money as you don't need to buy new clothes, cookies, or organise an open house," she added.
Retiree Fatimah Yusoff, 61, said Raya would be celebrated at home this year.
She said as Malaysia would not be free from Covid-19 at least until after Raya, other family members had also decided to stay put at their own houses.
Fatimah said she would cook one or two dishes to commemorate the end of Ramadan – which for her is what Eid Mubarak truly means.
"That's how they celebrate in Mecca, no festivities on Raya day.
"It's actually just a Malaysian custom to feast, wear new clothes and hold gatherings," she said.
Siti Nadiah Ahmad Zamlus, 35, a writer, said she would not be purchasing any new clothes this year.
She said in previous years, she would start preparing for Hari Raya during Ramadan itself.
"This year, my husband and I are not at all thinking about buying new clothes," she said, adding that both their respective parents lived in Pahang.
"One thing for sure – this year's Ramadan and Syawal will have a stronger family bond, she said.
Siti Nadiah said the family were doing many things together, such as cooking, gardening and conducting terawih paryers.
Wan Mohizan Wan Hussein, 54, a fisherman, said he would make use of whatever he and his family already have this Raya.
"I will probably exchange dishes with a few neighbours and will not be visiting relatives or friends.
"I will be celebrating the festivity with my immediate family members, with no visitors, no children collecting 'duit raya' door to door, and zakat I will pay online as well.
"This year will be a totally different experience," he added.
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