The celebration of Hari Raya marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. It is a merry celebration that marks a person’s triumph and success on discipline and self-resistance which symbolizes refinement and rebirth.
The excitement builds as the end of the fasting month approaches and families start to prepare for the celebrations with delicacies and goodies, shopping for new clothes, furnishing their home with new furniture and decorations. On the morning of Hari Raya, the men will perform prayers at the mosque while kids will ask for forgiveness from their parents and at the same time receive “duit raya” in green packets. Families will hold open houses where families and friends will share the celebrations with joy, laughter and scrumptious food.
However, this year, Hari Raya is celebrated a little different. Due to the pandemic, celebrations cannot be celebrated as how it has been for generations. There were no prayers held at the mosque, no open houses, no interstate travel to visit relatives and children are not allowed to play outside. So how can we celebrate Hari Raya this year? We improvise.
Video call or send an e-greeting
With the ban on interstate and overseas travel, going back to the kampungs to visit relatives are not allowed. So how can we communicate or send Hari Raya greetings? Go virtual with video calls or e-greeting cards. Send your loved ones an e-greeting card instead. Fill it with pictures of your family and meaningful words. Or connect with them via Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp video calls. They may not be with you physically but you can definitely connect virtually.
Cook your favourites or order food delivery
While home-cooked food is the best part of Hari Raya, you can improvise this year by cooking your own food. Remember, mom’s favourite recipes are just a phone call away. If you are not adventurous enough to attempt cooking, there’s always the option of food deliveries to chase the homesickness away. Your favourite Hari Raya dishes are just a click away.
Clean and decorate your house
The holiday season is the best time for you to spring clean your house and decorate it. Even though there won’t be any visitors or open houses, you can still keep the festive mood alive with beautiful streamers and sparkling lights.
Homemade gifts and cards
Get crafty with your kids and get them to design some greeting cards to send out to relatives. Add a personal touch by making your own gifts too.
Buying traditional outfits is one of the best parts of Raya. However, this year, hitting the malls is out of the question. Get your clothes via online or you can just recycle the previous years’ outfits. You can always wear your best clothes and have your own personal photo shoot at home. Why not make this a memorable Hari Raya and take a family photo with everyone in traditional clothes? You can even share these photos on social media!
Get creative with your Hari Raya celebrations this year. Or you can postpone it and celebrate it another time when the coast is clear. Most importantly is to stay safe, stay healthy and adhere to all the safety rules during this time.