Hari Raya Aidilfitri

Hari Raya Aidilfitri is a holiday celebrated in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Brunei, and it marks the end of Ramadan. During the month of Ramadan, fasting occurs from dawn to dusk, and on this day, Muslims across the region conclude their fast and enjoy fellowship with one another, seek forgiveness from each other, and partake in a feast abundant with food. This holiday falls on the first day of the tenth month of the Islamic calendar.

History of Hari Raya Aidilfitri

The origin of this holiday can be traced back to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He initiated this festival after his migration to Mecca. By the 15th century, the Muslim religion was well established in the region, and Hari Raya Aidilfitri has been celebrated since then.

Typically, this holiday falls on a day separate from other holidays. However, in 1996, 1997, and 1998, it coincided with the Chinese New Year. This led to two major celebrations during those years – one for the Chinese community and one for the Muslim community.

As a result, the Malaysian portmanteau “Kongsi Raya” was coined. For convenience, many Malaysians celebrate Kongsi Raya, when it occurs, instead of observing two separate holidays simultaneously.

Hari Raya Aidilfitri Customs & Traditions

Hari Raya Aidilfitri is one of the most significant holidays for Muslims in the region. It is a time when many people, both Muslims and non-Muslims, travel home to spend the following days with their families. It is also a period when friends and family seek forgiveness from each other for past wrongs.

During this time, many Muslims visit their ancestors’ graves, offer prayers at the mosque, and spend time with family. It is common to donate food to the poor on this day. The holiday features numerous festivals and a family feast that celebrates the end of fasting.

Some of the dishes served at this feast include Beef Rendang, Sambal, white rice, Sayur lodeh, ketupat, ondeh-ondeh, putu piring, grated sweet coconut, and kueh cakes. In the past, people decorated their homes with small kerosene-powered lamps called lampu colok. However, in recent times, many have replaced these with decorative electric lights.

Where is it celebrated?
Malaysia (Federal public holiday)Singapore (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
Next year (2025)
Last year (2023)