How to Celebrate Hari Raya Puasa in Times of Circuit Breaker Measures
Although Hari Raya will be different this year, who said it has to be boring!
For Muslims all over the world, Aidil Fitri is especially dear because, after a month of fasting and avoiding food and drink during the day, the festival to mark the end of Ramadan comes as a sweet triumph and a fitting tribute to bid farewell to arguably the holiest month of the Islamic calendar. However, Hari Raya Puasa 2020 Singaporeand world over will have bittersweet connotations to it, as we will not be able to engage in almost all of the activities that we have come to associate Eid with.
Coronavirus has taken the shine off many religious festivals and events this year, and with the holy month of Ramadan falling within circuit breaker measures, Aidil Fitri will be no exception.
There are, however, steps you can take to ensure that Eid this year will not be forgotten and may even be one that is cherished for bringing us closer to the simplest of things in life, for teaching us to be grateful and to never take for granted our health, and the greatest blessing that is our families.
Celebrating Hari Raya Puasa 2020 in Singapore—Circuit Breaker style
First things first. You need a playlist to fuel your souls as you prep for Eid!
Create a killer playlist to pump you up and get your family into the Hari Raya mood (Zain Bhikha’s Eidun Said, is always a good one to start off with!).
Blast this playlist all throughout the previous day as you go about preparing for the festival to infuse a sense of celebration as your family spends Eid this year indoors. Give your family a pep-talk about all the activities you have planned for the festival, so as to have them look forward to it and not dread it as just another uneventful day spent in quarantine.
Decorate your house
If you can’t go to the party, you bring the spirit of the party to you. Dress your house up. Go crazy with the decorations. Try to adopt a recycle-upcycle theme this Eid, as we live on the precipice of an economic recession and using up resources in our homes that we might dispose of is a good way to repurpose them and give them new life.
There are hundreds of DIY party decor ideas out on the internet, especially on Pinterest. Try making garbage bag/ plastic bag pompoms to hang up in pretty lines, newspaper and magazine fans and flowers, and crescent and stars made of spare cardboard boxes that you no doubt have in your storeroom.
Get the kids involved and keep them busy for hours with a pair of scissors, coloured pencils, glue, and some fun products from the kitchen: empty milk gallons, egg cartons, foil paper, anything you can spare and have at hand.
Whether you choose to buy your Raya clothes online, or you choose not to purchase new clothes this year and instead donate to charity or to families whom you know have been directly afflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic via pay-cuts and even unemployment, you will always have something that qualifies as your ‘Best Dress’ somewhere in your wardrobe.
Put on your Best Dress, and Best face, this Eid. Hari Raya during quarantine does not have to be a drab and lacklustre experience.
If anything, glamming up would make for an interesting photo-shoot: One to remember for years to come of an Eid spent in quarantine and maintaining social distancing.
Cook up a feast/ Order up a feast
Unearth family recipes and cook up a feast for just yourselves and your families. Get the whole family involved with kids on snacks, cookies or easy dessert stations, and yourself and your partner on the main courses.
And if spending long hours in the kitchen seems more of a chore rather than a way to kill time, patronize a struggling business and order instead. Restaurants and catering businesses have been hit hard due to this global pandemic and in supporting them you satiate your Eid cravings, as well as have it count as an act of Sadaqah (charity) for you.
The beauty of this is no matter what, set your intention right and they will both count as acts of worship and will serve to enhance your celebration this Hari Raya.
Video-call Family and Friends
Organise Zoom/Google Hangout calls with your family and friends. You can all have lunch together on-screen, or you can also go virtual house-visiting this way, calling up different families and friends. Make use of festive wallpapers, and select an Eid-related Zoom background to spice things up.
You may also opt to get your kids to open their Eid presents in front of grandparents and extended relatives, have an Eid henna session on a video call, or even facetime your grandmother or aunty to have an online cooking session for younger relatives to make dishes that Hari Raya will be incomplete without.
Online Games for families
Host an Eid day gaming tournament where you play your favourite games online together. Several sites like Gartic.io host drawing parties and you can get families to compete against each other by drawing images while others guess what it is. This may make for a fun bonding experience where relatives of all ages can take part and compete against.
Younger cousins and friends can make use of Kahoot games, a platform that many will already be familiar with as it is commonly used in schools.
Whatever you do, seek comfort in the realisation that you are among millions spending their festival this way. You are not alone.
Try incorporating these tips into your Hari Raya celebration this year, and do let us know if you have any other ideas that our community can benefit from.