Now that the month of Ramadhan is coming to its end, buckle up and be prepared for what is coming next. It is exciting, it is vibrant, it is lively, it is non other than the much anticipated RAYA time! For those who are not familiar with the term ‘Raya’, it is actually a Malaysian term referring to the festive season for Muslims all over the world, marking the end of Ramadhan, namely Eid Al-Fitr or also known locally as Aidilfitri.

The festivity is celebrated on the 1st of Syawal, following to the Islamic Calendar (Hijrah), where Muslims rejoice over the triumph of observing a whole month of fasting from sunrise to sunset with feasts of food and joyous gatherings. Knowing how we Malaysians love our Raya, here are the 8 things that we can’t help but to look forward to for every Raya.


1. Scrumptious Seasonal Raya Delicacies

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It is not an exaggeration to say that Raya would not be Raya without having the popular Ketupat, Rendang, and Lemang gracing your tastebuds. These delicacies among many others such as Nasi Impit, Kuah Kacang, Satay, and Serunding are traditional Malay dishes served commonly during Raya. Although, one can find these food anytime of the year, nothing beats having them cooked homemade by the matriarch of the family where each family have their own specialties.

Serving snacks and cookies are also a common tradition for Raya, where the host would prepare several varieties of Raya cookies placed in jars and would just leave it on the table for guest to munch away during their visit. Talking about having the sweet tooth, the Malaysian are in craze for the all-time favourites like Pineapple Tarts, Almond London, Biskut Samperit, Biskut Makmur, and Honey Cornflakes.


2. The Fashion Week for Baju Raya

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It has been a custom here for Raya to be a burst of colours where everyone is donning their new garments or Baju Raya especially on the first few days of Syawal. The Malay traditional costumes for women, are the Baju Kurung and Baju Kebaya while for men, it is the Baju Melayu, where both are worn extensively for Raya throughout the years. Although, many have opted for a more modern version of these classic clothing, the overall designs remain somewhat similar so to still represent the iconic Malay identity.

Shopping malls, department stores, retail shops, and even Ramadhan bazaars are flooded during the last few weeks of Ramadhan where people are on-the-hunt for the best prizes and deals for their Baju Raya. Another Raya trend that we can’t help to point out is the matching Raya outfits where a whole family is wearing one theme colour which we find to be an awesome idea for the perfect family photos.


3. Hometown Visit or Balik Kampung

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Everyone must have experienced that terrible homesick feelings during Raya where people are literally counting down the days before they can travel back to their hometown. Going back to hometown or Balik Kampung is almost a yearly event where the cities are practically evacuated and instead, the villages (Kampung) are filled up with people.

Massive traffic jams are expected, tickets are mostly sold out, and spending long hours are foreseen but the journey is worth the hassle. Nothing beats the excitement of going back to your loved ones, but we do remind you to stay fresh and alert throughout the journey while observing the traffic rules for everyone’s safety.


4. The Green Envelope of Duit Raya

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Similar to the tradition of giving ang pow during Chinese New Year, the Malays would hand out gift money (Duit Raya), usually in green envelopes during Raya. The only main difference is that Duit Raya is given to children. Elders would hand out Duit Raya to the children in the family or for those who come to visit. Interestingly, some parents even give out Duit Raya to their children as a reward for fasting. Therefore, it is a no brainer why children are often the most excited when Raya is coming around.


5. Nostalgic Raya Songs and Heartwarming Adverts

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You would be lying if you do not admit that you did sing along to Selamat Hari Raya by Saloma and Balik Kampung by Sudirman before. Yes, we are talking about the Raya songs! It doesn’t matter if the songs are nostalgic or just recently released, Raya songs are the ultimate Raya anthem to kick start the festive mood and vibes. These songs are catchy and easy to sing along with simple lyrics, probably just the reasons why they are timeless.

Not falling behind is the trend of established corporate companies coming up with heartwarming videos in conjunction with Raya. Videos that send out messages that could either break you into laughter or sobbing with tears. Themes about family, forgiveness, comedy, and even horror has been played out in these recent years with some of the memorable ones are by PETRONAS, TNB, BERNAS, and TM.


6. Revamping Your House with Raya Deco

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Nearing to Raya many would sweat out for their house to be perfectly decorated and properly cleaned before guests start showing up in front of their door. Raya chores and errands are a long list of cleaning the house, repainting the walls, changing the curtains, redecorating the rooms, and getting new home appliances for the extra convenience.

If redecorating your house is the main concern this Raya, the home furniture brands Ruma and Repro might have just the right furniture for you. Minimalistic in design with great quality that will surely zest up your homes. Meanwhile, getting a dishwasher might be a great help this Raya too so wait no more and start browsing for quality brands such as BOSCH Appliances, Senheng, Shimono, and more.


7. Open Houses and Raya Gatherings

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Well, Raya would not be complete if we do not mention the open houses and gatherings, right? Malaysians are famous for a whole month Raya celebration where even after the public holidays have ended there are open houses to attend. Open houses are usually hosted for more than just family members, but also for friends, colleagues, and not to forget, the neighbours.

Open houses could go on all day long with the continuous supply of food and endless chatters. Some open houses are even grand enough that people would rent tents, tables, chairs and even caterers. Government officials and offices would also host open houses that are open to public.


8. The Spirit of Forgiveness, Family Time, and Charity

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Setting aside all the glitz and glam of Raya, coming back to what really matters and the actual purpose of Raya is the fact that it is all about forgiveness and mending bonds. Raya is the time for families to seek forgiveness for any wrongdoing or misdeed done throughout the year. It is also for families to have the chance to round up and gather together after spending some times away being busy.

Charity is also a main part of Raya as Muslims are obligated to pay Zakat Fitrah, a form of monetary charity for the poor and the needy that is paid out before the first of Syawal. Hence, posing as a reminder for us to always be grateful of what we have.


Conclusion

There you have it, the 8 things that are most anticipated when Raya is around the corner. We at PropSocial hope that everyone would have a memorable and enjoyable Raya this time around. Do checkout www.propsocial.my for more interesting read on property news, current issues, and property-related articles. Last but not least, “Selamat Hari Raya and Maaf Zahir Batin” from all of us in PropSocial. 



(Written by: Aisyah Shukor, 13th June 2018)