[Updated 11 May 2021]
As we continue to recover from the pandemic, Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2021 (also called Eid al-Fitr or Lebaran) will be celebrated under unique circumstances especially for Malaysians who will now be under a nationwide Movement Control Order. While "balik kampung" won't be happening this year, you can (and should!) still enjoy the Raya festivities at home. We've rounded up these 11 ways to celebrate Hari Raya at home this year ?
1. Dress your best
While you won't be able to go visiting for the first day of Raya, who says you can't dress for the occasion? You've successfully completed yet another Ramadan and that's something worth celebrating. Did you know that it is Sunnah to dress your best on Hari Raya too?
Anas bin Malik, radhiallahu ‘anhu, said: “The Prophet ordered us to wear a good dress for Eid, to use the best perfume we have, and to give charity with what we have as the most valuable.” (Reported by al-Hakim). Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself was known to have worn his best garment on Eid and for Jumaat prayers.
As you've been home for a prolonged period of time, it's only natural that you're experiencing cabin fever. That's why dressing your best will help you lift your spirits and there's no better time to dress up than on this special day ? Even if your clothes are not new, just take an extra 5-10 minutes to pick your best outfit and dress up.
P.S. For those of you who are still interested in finding something new, then we've rounded up these 10 online shops where you can get raya clothes.
2. Do Eid prayers with your family
Hari Raya is that one day in a year where you'll see Muslims come together in colourful clothes and performing the Eid prayers at the mosque. Unfortunately, that won't be happening this year in our part of the world ? The Islamic bodies of Singapore, several states in Malaysia and Indonesia have advised Muslims to do their Eid prayers at home.
But on the flip side, you can still do the Eid prayers at home with your family as it is Sunnah to perform it in congregation. And it can be done with or without a sermon. You can check the websites of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS), JAKIM or Indonesia's Nadhlatul Ulama for updates on doing Eid prayers at home, as well as the digital versions of the sermon. Check out our article on the Sunnahs of Eid and how to do the Eid prayers!
3. Fill your house with the sound of takbir
Personally, one of the things I look forward to every year on Hari Raya is the takbir. Hari Raya is a day of joy and celebration for Muslims, and it is when we also express our gratitude to Allah. Chanting the takbir aloud is a Sunnah. With phrases like "Allahuakbar" (Allah is the greatest), "Lailahaillallah" (There is no God worthy of worship except Allah) and "Wa Lillahil Hamd" (Praise be to Allah), the takbir has a significant meaning to Muslims.
Though you're celebrating Raya at home, you can still get the atmosphere by reciting the takbir aloud with your family. Takbir starts from the night before Eid after maghrib, until the Eid prayer the next day. Check out this link for the full takbir and its meaning.
#HHWT Tip: For those of you in Singapore, you can sign up for this online live session of the takbir organised by the Muslim Converts' Association of Singapore.
4. Eat yummy Raya food
Let's be honest - Raya just wouldn't be complete without good food and Raya kuih! Whether it's ketupat, lemang, rendang, satay or sambal goreng, you know you can't resist these mouth-watering dishes during this festive occasion. It doesn't matter if you're staying with a big family, just your spouse or even alone, eating good food will definitely bring the Raya spirit into your home. Of course, remember to eat in moderation as you've just completed 30 days of fasting ? For those of you looking to order last-minute Raya kuih, check out these home bakers in Singapore and Malaysia.
P.S. Don't feel like cooking this Raya? Here are 10 places where you can order your Raya food from in KL! Look out for our upcoming article on where to get Raya food in Singapore ?
5. Snap lots of photos
(This photo was taken before Covid-19)
Here's another thing to look forward to - taking photos! Since you've already dressed your best, it'll be a waste not to snap plenty of photos right?? As this Raya is a unique one, you'd want to remember it in pictures as much as possible. Look at it this way - not having to rush to visit your relatives' houses means you'll be having a lot more time for photo-taking! Get creative and find the best spot in your house for your #ootd (outfit of the day) or experiment with different group poses with your family. We're pretty sure this activity will leave you with plenty of photos in your camera roll to keep as memories ☺️
6. Have a video call session with relatives and friends
If there's one thing that COVID-19 has made us realise, it's the beauty of technology. You might not be able to visit all your relatives and friends for Raya this year but thanks to video conferencing apps like Zoom and Google Meet, you can still do some "virtual visiting".
Islam encourages silaturrahim (strengthening of relationships with relatives and friends) and maintaining family ties is an obligation. So, even if you are separated from your family because of the pandemic, you should still strive to connect with your loved ones and find out how they are doing. For those of you with elderly parents, you can also help them set up video calls with other elderly relatives. To make things even more fun, why not strike a pose with your relatives/friends and snap a picture??
7. Seek forgiveness from family members
Hari Raya is a time for forgiveness and the tradition of seeking forgiveness from your family members should still be continued even as you're celebrating at home. This is even more timely as we're spending more time at home during this period and might constantly break out into quarrels and misunderstandings with family members. Hence, this is the time to seek forgiveness and appreciate your family even more. Even if you're not staying with your family, you can still seek forgiveness from them through video conferencing apps, call them or drop them a text message!
8. Give duit Raya or gifts online
If there's one thing that kids look forward to every Raya, it's the tradition of receiving green packets or duit raya ? For those of you who aren't living with your loved ones or elderly relatives, you can easily give duit raya via bank transfer. Several banks in Singapore and Malaysia have come up with easy options for you to do so. For instance, Singapore's DBS Bank has an eGift function where you can add a personalised message or sticker and it will be sent together with your duit raya. Similarly, Malaysia's Maybank has an e-Duit Raya function while HSBC Amanah has a function called DuitNow. Perhaps during this period, it is also a good time to send duit raya to your relatives or friends you know who might need it more than others, especially if their livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic. Check out our article to find out how you can send e-Duit Raya in Malaysia!
Another alternative to giving duit raya is to send gifts or even food to your loved ones. With so many online shops and delivery services available, you can easily wish someone well on Hari Raya with a nice gift. Giving of gifts is also highly encouraged in Islam as it strengthens ties of kinship. The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Exchange gifts, as that will lead to increasing your love to one another.” [Al-Bukhari]
P.S. Check out these 8 delivery services in KL to send presents to family and friends!
9. Watch nostalgic films and shows together
Remember when you and your family would be visiting your relatives and every house would be playing (almost!) the same thing on TV?? It'll most probably be a Hari Raya performance show or a special movie about Raya on Suria (mainly Singaporeans), Astro or local Malaysian TV channels. Not that any of us are seriously following the programmes, but they always seem to be a talking point between my siblings and I ? (especially when we go to the next house and the same programme is still playing!)
Well, if there's any day that you and your family would all sit down to watch a programme together, it'll have to be Hari Raya. For a taste of nostalgia, iconic Malay films by the legendary P. Ramlee would be your best bet! From the hilarious Bujang Lapok series to the heart-wrenching Ibu Mertuaku, these black-and-white movies are a classic ? If you're looking for a good laugh, Malaysian sketch comedy troupe Senario's movies will be perfect.
One sure way to get you into the Raya mood is to binge-watch Raya commercials that'll surely leave you in tears. Malaysian oil and gas company PETRONAS is known for making awesome Raya commercials which will hit you right in the feels. You can find their commercials and more on YouTube!
10. Listen to Raya songs
You know Raya is coming when you hear Raya songs being played on the radio ? This year, these songs are extra special because Hari Raya has a whole different meaning to it. Since many of you might be separated from your loved ones, listening to some Raya songs will get you in the mood for Raya!
So, fill your playlist with Raya songs and turn them on while you're eating or having conversations with your family. Whether it's the classic Selamat Hari Raya song by Saloma, Suasana Hari Raya by Anuar Zain and Ellina or Balik Kampung by Sudirman, you'll surely be remembered of Raya celebrations of past years.
11. Light up the house when night comes
One thing that never fails to get me in the mood for Raya is these LED lights which are more affectionately known as "lampu lap lip". If you've never had these lights at home, perhaps this is the best time to get one! Besides the normal-looking lights, some of them are crescent moon and star-shaped while others are ketupat-shaped ? While the Ramadan bazaars are cancelled, you can still get your "lampu lap lip" from online shopping sites like Shopee and Lazada ?
With these 11 awesome ways to celebrate Raya at home, it doesn't need to be a boring affair! Can you believe it's just 11 more days to Raya? Time to start sprucing up your house if you haven't and get ready for a Raya unlike any other ?