Celebrating Hari Raya As A Newly Wed: Here's What We Learnt


Siti Ayeeshah Zaki •  May 04, 2022

Hari Raya 2022 was a little special for me: I celebrated it as a newlywed! My first Raya away from my family, there was a whole new set of experiences and preparations I had to undertake on my own. From looking for a Baju Raya set we could both agree on to meeting new relatives, it was, safe to say, a lot ? If you're curious to know how it all went down and how I navigated the onslaught of you-just-got-married-are-you-pregnant-yet Raya interviews, read on! P.S. Here Are 7 Halal Eateries That Deliver To Host Your Guests This Raya

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Celebrating Hari Raya As A Newly Wed

Hi everyone! My name is Ayeeshah and I'm a writer at Have Halal, Will Travel. Some of you may know me from HHWT's TikToks and my live streams in Korea back in December 2021. ? Last October, I got married to my best friend, Amirul ❤️ A tale for the modern age, we met through a mutual friend on Facebook and we've been stuck to each other's sides ever since. With this new chapter in our lives though, comes new challenges. And one of them was celebrating Hari Raya together as newlyweds ?

Malam Raya (The Night Before Raya)

Safe to say, we were pretty excited. But there was going to be a lot to do before the day itself. Luckily for us, we had rushed down to Geylang before Ramadan to get ourselves a set of matching Baju Raya. That way, we managed to avoid the crowds and the possible hike in prices ? We got ourselves a comfortable, cooling set that the both of us looked and felt good in - so that was one thing down. We still had one major task to tackle, though: cleaning. At the beginning of Ramadan, we divided our room into 4 sections and cleaned them each week, so the task wasn't too daunting. We also split the work and did cleaning tasks we each preferred. For example, Amirul dislikes doing the dishes and folding laundry, so I did that. But I dislike defrosting the fridge, so Amirul worked on that instead! Not going to lie, we still have a little more cleaning to do, but we'll work on it ? P.S. Here Are 5 Things Non-Muslims Might Wonder About Hari Raya
The night before Hari Raya, we headed upstairs to hang out with my little sisters. Amirul helped out with the kids as they played with sparklers for their first time ever! Amirul's got a natural way with kids, so he had no problem helping out - and the kids had loads of fun. They even asked for more sparklers at the end of it. I guess 6 boxes are not enough! ?
Here, in my opinion, was one of the best parts: I really wanted to do my nails for Raya. It'd been a while since I'd tried nail polish, mostly because it ends up being really messy whenever I do it for myself. But Amirul was a dream and painted my nails for me. No frills about it being a ''girly'' activity and whatnot! Gender norms go out the window, and painting his wife's nails definitely wasn't a problem. He even painted my little sister's nails for her ? P.S. Here Are 7 Easy Last-Minute Raya Recipes to Impress Your Guests This Eid

The Day Itself

Before getting ready that morning, we came up with a plan. We had 2 houses to visit: mine, and his. My open house started at 9am, his 3pm. We decided to stay at my place till 1, head back to our room for a shower and rest, before heading off to his. And boy, was that plan a life saviour. If you're introverted like us, meeting others gets tiring really easily, especially a few family's worth! At 1pm, we practically crashed onto our room floor before getting ready for the next Raya rush.
Although we're going to be honest, my mom's Raya food helped loads ? Rendang and Lontong are Raya classics that are hard to beat on a festive day like this!
Once we had freshened up, we made our way to my in-laws', only to realise that we had to go canvassing for ice! My in laws' place had run out of ice....and so had all the 7-Elevens in Singapore. ? We made it a fun little excursion though, even stopping for ice cream on one of our searches. Ice cream on a hot day definitely helps ?

I'm Not Pregnant, Cik (Auntie)

Raya's all fun and games till you're socially awkward and placed in a new environment. Add to the fact that I barely knew the people around me, I had little idea what to do, where to stand or how to interact with others. I even hung out in the kitchen for a while collecting myself ? Luckily for me, my mother-in-law is very kind and handed me the very thing I'd be comfortable interacting with: a baby. ? Cute little creatures can't judge you, and making a fool of yourself only makes them laugh! As the night went on, I gradually found it easier to interact with the older generations: I guess all I needed was a little warm up ☺️
And while Amirul's family members were definitely nice enough, it was the kids that made my day. Meet Aishah: my namesake! Another part of being a newlywed involves navigating the many aunties questioning you on your... Pregnancy status. If you're a newlywed dealing with this, I'm sorry to say, I don't know how to answer them yet! ? Beyond the polite, ''oh, not yet, no'', there's been very little I can do about the questions ? Amirul tried to take some of the heat, of course. It takes two to get married! Although it did get me wondering if the questions would ever end, and if I'd somehow gained so much weight it seemed like I was pregnant. ? I was always on my guard for the next inquisitive makcik!

Passed Out & Lessons Learned

We stumbled back into our room at 11pm exhausted and ready to crash, only for my mom to text: we've got to do it again the next day! Due to Covid-19, Amirul and I haven't had the chance to meet the rest of each others' families in a more formal setting (or jalan pengantin, as the Malays call it), and Syawal is the perfect opportunity to do so. We're pretty much killing two birds with one stone this way, but boy are we tired already ? Overall, I think it was a pretty successful day: between helping each other out with cleaning and working together to keep up our social staminas, it was pretty fun! Our pockets burned holes, practically searing our thighs though. It was our first year giving out duit Raya (green packets) and let me tell you this: the first few dollars can be the hardest to part with ? Fortunately, it got easier as the night went on. Especially since the kids were adorable and polite, making it so much easier for us to shower them with cash... As much cash as we could afford at least! ?