5 Things Non-Muslims Might Wonder About Hari Raya


Siti Ayeeshah Zaki •  Apr 17, 2023

Hari Raya 2023 is coming up on 22nd April and many Muslims are rushing to prepare for it. You might have noticed it, too! In Singapore and Malaysia, many are hightailing it to the Ramadan Bazaars and Pasar Malams scattered all around the country.

Filled with all our Eid essentials, there's plenty to prepare: from Hari Raya spreads to Hari Raya goodies and gatherings! But while you're surrounded by and enjoying the hubbub and festivities your Muslim loved ones are undeniably bringing to the table, you might wonder: what is Hari Raya? Or, how can I wish my Muslim friends a great Hari Raya (Hari Raya greetings)? And maybe even, how is Hari Raya celebrated?

Well, no worries! We're here to answer those questions and more. That way, you can fully immerse yourself in the celebrations of the day with your Muslim friends without feeling a tad bit lost ?

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Hari Raya: A Guide For Non-Muslims

What Is Hari Raya?

Hari Raya is a day that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic Holy Month. Also known as Hari Raya Puasa, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Eidulfitri or the Festival of Eid! Muslims are not allowed to fast on Hari Raya, since it's a festival for breaking our fast; an occasion celebrated by Muslims all over the world, regardless of country or culture. ☺️

When Is Hari Raya?

You might have noticed that Hari Raya's date seems to change each year: and that's because the day falls on the tenth month of the Islamic Calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar.

Hari Raya Greetings

If you're planning to wish your Muslim friend a great Hari Raya, there are a few ways to do so. And if you're living in a country with a significant population of Muslims, you've probably heard of them! If you're curious as to what they mean and when to use them though, you're in the right place. Do note that these are based on the prominent greetings in Singapore and Malaysia.

1. Selamat Hari Raya

If you live in Singapore or Malaysia, you've probably heard this one. Selamat Hari Raya, or, 'Happy Celebration Day', is one way you can greet your friends on Hari Raya! It is the most common Malay-Muslim greeting used in Singapore. P.S. Since Hari Raya falls on the tenth month of the Islamic calendar, you might want to forgo wishing them a great Muslim New Year ☺️

2. Eid Mubarak

One of the most commonly used Arabic greetings for this day, Eid Mubarak translates to ''Blessed Celebrations''. Simply put, it's just a way to wish your friends a happy holiday!

3. Maaf Zahir Dan Batin

Hari Raya is a day that bridges relationships, bonds and forgiveness between families. Through visits and reconciliation, the spirit of Hari Raya in many countries tends to be seeking forgiveness, which is why many say ''Maaf Zahir dan Batin'', or ''I seek forgiveness from you physically and spiritually''. This greeting is often a follow up from Selamat Hari Raya! So the next time you wish your Muslim friend a great Hari Raya, you can say, ''Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir & Batin.'' ?

Why do families wear the same colour?

You might think that the colour of our outfits has religious ties - they don't! Wearing the same colour is a cultural tradition in Singapore and parts of the world, and it follows the Hari Raya theme of unity. And, you know, it makes a great photo ? ?

P.S. If you're looking for Baju Kurung to celebrate Hari Raya with your friends this year, check out these spots!

How is Hari Raya celebrated around the world?

Many of us start our day by putting on our best clothes and heading to the mosque for prayers. In other parts of the world (and even in Singapore!) where mosques are not available or are full, Muslims also head to common areas like fields and open spaces to pray together.

Afterwards, we visit our loved ones and enjoy quality time together, not to mention the mouth-watering food! ? Some also take time in the day to visit the graves of their passed loved ones, a way to commemorate their memory, and remember the times when their loved ones were celebrating the day with them.?

So there you have it - all the basics you need to celebrate Hari Raya 2022 with your loved ones! ☺️ If you know someone who might need this guide to Hari Raya as much as you did, be sure to share this with them! Oh and hey, Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir Dan Batin - because now you know what that means now ?