May 3 (expected date): Hari Raya Pausa (or Hari Raya Aidilfitri)
Hari Raya Puasa marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. It is a time of forgiveness within the Muslim community and a time for strengthening of bonds among relatives and friends. New clothes, decorated houses and exchange of invitations between friends and relatives commemorate Hari Raya Puasa.
The first day after Ramadan is a busy one. On the morning of Hari Raya Puasa, to celebrate the end of the month-long fast, Muslims would visit the mosque and recite special prayers. Other practices observed include asking forgiveness from elders and visiting relatives and friends. Visitations usually begin with the parents’ home, where it is a custom among many Muslims to ask forgiveness from their parents for the wrongs they have committed in the past year. Although it is not required for Muslims to visit the cemetery during Hari Raya, many do so as a remembrance of those who have left them.
Hari Raya Puasa is a public holiday in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. On this day, Muslims have a lavish spread of food on their dining table. They would have specialties such as beef rendang (a spicy dish of beef that is like a dry curry), ketupat (rice cake wrapped in coconut leaf) and lontong (rice cake immersed in coconut gravy). Along with these would be cookies, cakes and pineapple tarts.
In the past, homes were lit with lampu colok, a small kerosene lamp that was usually homemade. The trend now is to use decorative, flickering lights.