Hari Raya Aidilfitri is always celebrated on a grand scale by Muslims and non Muslims alike here in Malaysia.
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After a month of fasting, Muslims around the world look forward to celebrating Eid ul-Fitr, or more commonly known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri here in Malaysia. It is a time for joyous festivities after a whole month of fasting and penitence. Hari Raya songs dominates the airtime for most shopping complexes and outlets, evoking a sense of eagerness as they look forward to the first day of Aidilfitri. As the big day draws nearer, a frenzy of shoppers takes to the shopping malls, determined to finish their last minute shopping for new clothes for the family or kitchen items for expected guests. The festive mood is very apparent in the faces of the younger generation, who look forward to visits from their cousins and friends as well as new clothes to wear. Most importantly, it is a time for reuniting and bonding with family, and a time to seek forgiveness from the elders.
The Muslims in Malaysia begin their first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri with a visit to the community mosque in the morning for prayers. After the morning prayers, families will normally visit the final resting place of their dearly departed. The family will gather around the grave and recite prayers or Yaasin for the departed. Once the prayers are completed, holy water is then sprinkled around the grave and the surrounding area tidied up. Usually the family will either go home if they are anticipating guests at their house or go and visit their friends and relatives. Islam holds that this is the time for gaiety and merriment, a time to bond with fellow friends and relatives and to seek forgiveness from each other.
If there was one thing that any child would remember about Hari Raya Aidilfitri, apart from the sparklers and fireworks, it would definitely by the 'duit raya' they receive from the uncles and aunties. It is normally a token sum of money placed into either a green or yellow packet and given by the elders to the younger generation. Another thing which the children may remember is the Hari Raya songs, most notably the song Balik Kampung, written by the late Sudirman Haji Arshad. The lyrics of the song tells of the excitement of returning to one's hometown for Hari Raya and it quickly became a rousing hit when it debuted in 1993. Its catchy tune and simple but meaningful lyrics still get a lot of airtime during the balik kampung rush, reflecting the sentiments of those traveling to be with their loved ones during this special time.