Malaysian Celebration Series: Hari Raya Haji

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If you are not aware, Malaysia is ranked as a country with A LOT of holidays

Almost every month in Malaysia, there is a public holiday or a state level holiday being held. As such, Malaysians will utilize these holidays to go on trips or return to their hometown in a tradition called “Balik Kampung” which may end up leaving Kuala Lumpur as a ghost town or leave malls and local attractions bursting with visitors.

Now upcoming is a few more rounds of holidays. Up next would be the Hari Raya Aidiladha (to be celebrated on 22nd August 2018), The National Day (to be celebrated on 31st August 2018), The King’s Birthday (to be celebrated on 9th September 2018) and Malaysia Day (to be celebrated on 16th September 2018). It is to be noted that public holidays that fall on Sundays in Malaysia are carried forward to Monday and that some companies accept holidays on Saturday to be celebrated earlier on Friday the day before such holidays..

For this part we will cover Hari Raya Aidiladha and how its celebrated around Malaysia.

We have split the portions into the following:

a) What is hari raya

b) When is Hari Raya Aidiladha Celebrated

c)Who celebrates Hari Raya Aidiladha

d)How is it celebrated

What Is Hari Raya

In the Malay language, hari means day and raya means celebrate. As such Hari Raya means celebration day.

So for Malaysia there are many types of Hari Raya. The most common is Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Eid. This is a muslim holiday celebrated by muslims after fasting for one month during the month of Ramadan.

Meanwhile the upcoming Hari Raya Celebrations is the Hari Raya Aidiladha celebrations or as more well known in Malaysia as Hari Raya Korban (Korban in Malay means sacrifice).

This celebration is to mark the culmination of the Hajj Pilgrims conducting the Hajj in Mecca and also to remember the sacrifice of the Prophet Ibrahim who was instructed to sacrifice his son the prophet Ismail.

When is Hari Raya Aidiladha (or Raya Korban) Celebrated

The Hari Raya Aidiladha celebrations is celebrated around the world by Muslims. The date for Hari Raya Aidiladha celebrations falls on the 10th Day of Zulhijjah (in Islamic Calendars). As the date follows the Islamic calendar which is lunar based, this date will follow the phases of the moon and as such it will follow the 10th day of the new moon which will be determined by the Department of Islamic Affairs Malaysia (JAKIM).

However, due to scientific measurements and monitoring of the phases, the date of the celebrations are pre-determined with monitoring of the moon phases still conducted for verification. As such for 2018, the date determined for celebration in Malaysia would be on 22nd August 2018.

 

Who celebrates Hari Raya Aidiladha

 

As this is a religious holiday, it is celebrated by Muslims in Malaysia. However, as it is also a federal national holiday, it is effectively celebrated by all in Malaysia as a public holiday.

In some states within the federation, a second day is provided as such those employed in the states of Terengganu, Kelantan and Perlis would have a second day for celebrations.

 

How is it celebrated?

For muslims, the celebration for those in Malaysia commences with the special prayers in the morning conducted in Mosques, Surau’s and other prayer halls to be followed up with special sermons.

Subsequently, the congregation will conclude and be adjourned for breakfast and followed up with communities working together to slaughter sacrificial animals in accordance with religious rites. During this period, with a week or two preceding the hari raya celebrations, mosque’s and other muslim religious facilities will have sacrificial animals kept within its premises or nearby such as cows, lamb, goats and some have even had camels.

One third of the meat is given to the individual who made the sacrifice (in this sense it is the person who pays for the sacrifice and the community), while the rest is given to the poor and deserving people in the community. Making the sacrifice (korban) is not a compulsory religious duty, but for those who are able to afford it, it is an obligation in Malaysia.

Following this event, most families will either continue with visiting relatives and friends or just celebrate at home as a public holiday.

Common greetings to give during Hari Raya Aidiladha is to wish “Selamat Hari Raya” or “ Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha” which translates to Happy Celebrations or Happy Aidiladha Celebrations.

Have you heard of Hari Raya before? How is it celebrated in your country? Share with us below whether you’ve heard or celebrate it before.

From all of us in InsiderKL. We wish all a Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha.

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