Growing up, I remember the flurry of activity and excitement that would follow the declaration of the sighting of the moon. My sister and I would pull out our brand new Baju Kurung and Baju Melayu and set about ironing them for the family. My mum would be in the kitchen preparing favorite food items for the next day. We will also fill in the cookie jars and cleaning the entire house. New outfit, new shoes, new curtains, and anything else festive would be laid out in preparation. Some years, we girls would sit down to apply henna on each other’s hands.

On the next day, all of us will wear our Baju Raya and go to the nearest mosque for Raya prayer. Following the Raya prayer, we head off to the graveyard, to pay our respects and offer a prayer to the recently deceased, followed by visiting loads of people and eating lots of lovely, delicious food. As children we would also look forward to ‘Duit Raya’ – money handed out by the elders.

Now after two years of pandemic, we are finally able to gather for Hari Raya celebration. There are no more movement restrictions across states and things seems to come back to normal. Many feelings are delighted now that we can balik kampung to meet families and relatives. Syukur, Alhamdulillah.

While we are enjoying the excitement of celebrating a “real” Raya this year, things getting chaos last night with the announcement of Hari Raya which falls one day earlier than calendar date. But the chaotic is kinda fun, isn’t it? A beautiful mess I’d say. We’ve got to see how great our mum’s crisis management skill is, even the boys in the family too.

It’s a surprise but pleasant rush Raya! I guess this is one of the Raya a lot of us will hardly forget and will talk about for many, many years ahead. Anyhow, I hope the preparation went rather okay for you, if not smooth. Otherwise, no worries. We have a month worth to celebrate Hari Raya.

Despite the sadness, loss and difficulties many have experienced since last two Raya, we hope our Muslim friends and family and those of you reading this blog will come together in a moment of celebration this time. SELAMAT HARI RAYA, my lovelies! Wishing you the most unforgettable celebration of life and happiness.

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