Muslims in Singapore to celebrate Hari Raya at home, no gatherings allowed
We asked some youths about their upcoming Hari Raya plans during the circuit breaker period.
Muslims in Singapore will be celebrating Hari Raya next Sunday on May 24. As the Hari Raya period is still within the circuit breaker period, this year’s festive celebrations will have to be adjusted.
Hari Raya traditions like visiting elderly family members and hosting gatherings across different houses will need to take a backseat this year.
Common traditions practised on the eve and morning of Hari Raya, such as going to the mosque for communal prayer calls (also known as “takbir”), will be carried out at home instead.
As the mosques are still closed during the ongoing circuit breaker period, several “live” sessions will be organised on YouTube and Facebook to help the Muslim community recite the prayer calls in their own homes.
On the morning of Hari Raya, the sermon will be broadcasted on the radio (Warna 94.2FM) and on Facebook pages of local mosques. Muslims will also perform their Hari Raya prayers at home, together with family members of the same household.
We asked some youths about their first thoughts on celebrating Hari Raya during the circuit breaker.
Preparing for a solemn Hari Raya at home
“I had already expected that we’d have to refrain from Hari Raya visiting. Going for Hari Raya visiting might increase the risk of the virus spreading through gatherings.
“I’m cool with not being able to gather with friends and family for the time being. My family will be more relaxed since we won’t be cooking extravagant meals in large quantities or redecorating our house to impress our relatives.
“It will be a solemn Raya, but a good one spent with our loved ones at home.” – Muhd Harun, 19, Student
Catching up with extended family members over video calls
“This year’s Hari Raya is definitely different. I typically visit my grandparents, parents and in-laws after praying at the mosque on Hari Raya.
“My whole extended family will gather at my grandparents’ house so it’s always noisy and festive on the first day. My cousins will usually play around with my 3-year-old daughter and the younger kids who come to visit. Even when the circuit breaker ends, I don’t think we’ll be allowed to visit each other anytime soon, so I feel sad.
“This Hari Raya, I’ll probably get busy exploring every corner of my home. Having a young daughter means I’ll have to keep her occupied since I won’t have too much assistance from my relatives this year.
“I’ll also give my family members a video call to ask for forgiveness and see one another’s faces, even if it’s through a screen. Getting my daughter to talk to our relatives will also make her feel entertained.” – Muhd Faizal, 34, Aircraft Engineer
Keeping up with Hari Raya traditions at home
“I am disappointed that I won’t be able to carry out the usual festivities with friends and family but it is necessary to protect others from becoming ill.”
“Usually, on the first day of Eid, I will switch on the TV to watch Sinar Lebaran (Hari Raya entertainment show) on Suria after showering in the morning. Then I’ll help my mother finish up cooking the Raya dishes and pack some aside for relatives. After that, we’ll clean the house before getting ready to go out and visit relatives.
“Although we won’t be able to visit each other this year, my close family and friends are planning video calls so that we can seek forgiveness and celebrate.
“I’ll still be helping my mom with the cooking and we’ll definitely eat together while watching Sinar Lebaran reruns, so we can keep our Hari Raya traditions intact.” – Ria Riana, 19, Student
While we cannot visit our Muslim friends and family members during the festive month, we can still celebrate Hari Raya safely and responsibly.
Schedule video calls on the morning of Hari Raya to meet and greet your extended family members, or gather your family members living in the same house to take some photos to commemorate the special day.
Let’s all continue to stay home so that we can look forward to meeting our loved ones soon!