|Blue Mosque, Istanbul|
After the celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri (or Hari Raya Puasa) recently, some of you may be surprised to hear that we have another hari raya coming soon. Let me share with you the core differences between the two events so that when this pops up in your conversation, I got your back 😉
1- Hari Raya Puasa (aka Hari Raya Aidilfitri is a celebration after our 30 days fasting month. Meanwhile Hari Raya Haji (aka Hari Raya Aidiladha) is the celebration of the end of haj pilgrimage in Mecca.
2- Hari Raya Puasa celebrations extend till 30 days while Hari Raya Haji last for around 4 days.
3- The custom and practises are the same, we wake up in the morning for the Raya Prayers, and then we do visiting. Fundamentally, this period is a time to strengthen our bonds between families and friends.
4- Additional practise on Hari Raya Haji, there will be a ‘Korban’, sacrifical process of livestock for our family members. This is to commemorate the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son in order to follow God’s command. When God saw the sincerity of this great servant, God intervened to tell him that he can switch it to a sheep instead. During this time as well, both father and son were guided by God to build the Ka’aba; a square stone building in the centre of the Great Mosque in Mecca considered by Muslims to be our most holy site.
5- Hari Raya Puasa will have more fancy celebrations and joyous celebrations after the hardship of fasting. During the fasting month (which is compulsory for every Muslim), there will be daily terawih prayers every night. Then the festive dishes of hari raya puasa includes, beef rendang, ketupat, lontong etc. As for Hari Raya Haji, the day before though not compulsory some Muslim will fast. On the day itself, after the morning prayers, livestocks will be sacrificed (mentioned in earlier point).
6- The last point will be, during Hari Raya Puasa, there will be lots of duit raya (equivalent to Ang Pow) given out to younger children to bless them and as a token of appreciation. But on Hari Raya Haji which is also known as a celebration of sacrification, this act of handing out duit raya is not commonly seen as fewer families actually celebrate this festival.
To all my muslim friends, Salam Aidiladha and to the rest of the people not celebrating the festive day, hope you have had a great long weekend break! Be ready for work tomorrow 😛
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