Selamat Hari Raya and Maaf Zahir Batin is the greeting we Malaysians use everytime we meet someone during the festival of Eid Mubarak. This roughly means 'Happy Eid' and 'i beg forgiveness from you phsyically and spiritually'.
Hari Raya or Eid is celebrated by muslims around the world after ramadhan. Hari Raya or Eid basically means 'celebration'. A merry time of celebration for Malaysians. When i say Malaysians, it is not only meant for the muslims. This celebration is also celebrated by the non muslims in Malaysia. A time to visit one another to strenghten family ties, friendship bonds and asking for forgiveness.
Most muslim Malaysians will don on their best clothes in the morning of Eid and perform the Eid prayers at the local mosque. Most people will either come back home for their big reunion breakfast with the family or go straight to their dearly departed graves to offer prayers.
This is the time of the year where you can expect to see colourful new attires, new cushion covers, new curtains, newly painted houses and even new cars! You can just go over to any house without even being invited and i guarantee a big spread of food laid on the table for you to savour without feeling guilty.
Food is always abundance during this time, Malaysians being good hosts will make sure you will not leave their home feeling hungry.
The traditional food like the ketupat (rice cook in coconut leaves), rendang (meat cook in coconut milk and spice), nasi bariani are a must and the list goes on and on....
We even have cookies for guests who visits and the children (small kids) will be given Raya goodies (money packets, yes its real money!). Open houses (literally means you accept guests all day long) are also a common thing for the whole month of Syawal.
What touches me most is the Takbir. Everytime i hear the Takbir, i get this feeling which i really cannot explain.
Sadly, with all the extravagance, we have inadvertently attached the wrong values and meaning to the day itself, making those who don’t or no longer have the means to experience these things, feel somewhat less than excited about it.
Unfortunately, the true meaning of Hari Raya or Eid remains lost amongst most of us. :(
Selamat Hari Raya and Maaf Zahir Batin to everyone out there