CELEBRATIONS & FESTIVALS

| Open House Tradition | Hindu | Other Religious |

 
 

MUSLIM OPEN HOUSE TRADITION

A Unique Malaysian Experience

 

Celebrate life in multi-racial, multi-religious Malaysia, where there is an astonishing array of cultural observances. More than just ritual and traditions, they are a way of life mutually respected by all.   The open house or rumah terbuka tradition is unique to Malaysia. Open houses are usually held during major festivals and celebrations like Han Raya Aidilfitri, Chinese New Year, Gawai, Christmas and Deepavali.   During open houses, Malaysians literally open their doors and welcome friends, relatives and even strangers into their homes to celebrate the festivities together. Even tourists who happen to be in the country at the time of the functions join in the fun too.

 

Such gatherings foster goodwill and provide the opportunity to renew social ties in a convivial mood with the host usually feting their guests to a generous spread of food and drinks.   Indeed, the tradition of the open house is something to be admired and emulated. It has been replicated by the government at the notional-level celebration of all major festivals. Large-scale open houses like those organised by political figures are announced in the moss media and held at public venues. Visitors attending these open houses hove the chance to meet the country?s leaders and enjoy local delicacies. Many a time, these festivals coincide and are celebrated together with great joy.

 
  MUSLIM : Hari Raya Puasa / Hari Raya Aidil Fitri

 

Muslims celebrate Hari Raya Aidil Fitri to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadhan. In Malaysia, special morning prayers are held in all mosques and families visit graves of departed loved ones to recite prayers. This is also the time for family reunions where the younger generation will seek forgiveness from their elders for any wrongs committed. The 30 days month-long fasting during the Ramadan ends and celebrates with the Hari Raya Puasa or Hari Raya Aidil Fitri.

 

There are two methods to determine the fall of Hari Raya Aidil Fitri: following the sign of the new moon (Rukyah) or based on the astronomical calculation (Falak).   Muslims adopted the first method and this is always done. Besides spring cleaning, the house will be decorated with the lighting of oil lamps at the surrounding compound as to welcome the angels which is believed to be visiting during the seven days preceding the festival. So, the first day of the Hari Raya Aidilfitri always starts with prayer in the morning in mosque then the Zakat giving, i.e. to donate money to the mosque as to support the poor and the mosque. This will followed by a visiting to the ancestors? graves. This celebration lasts for a month but the is concentrated in the first three days.

 

 

During these few days, there will always be open-house as to welcome visitors from all races regardless whether you know the owner. Visitors will be served with different type of favorite dishes such as Ketupat, beef rending and cookies. Hari Raya Aidilfitri always bears with full meaning of thanks giving and forgiving. The Muslims offer their thanks to God and the elders meanwhile also request to be forgiven for all their wrong doing in the past. Hari Raya Aidilfitri is not only purely a religion celebration instead also to unite as a family with of love, understanding, blessings, forgiveness and also the spirit of harmonious among the races in the country.

 

Traditional delicacies and local favourites like lemang (glutinous rice cooked in bamboo), ketupat (rice wrapped in coconut leaves), peanut sauce and rendang (a dry spicy beef dish) are usually served.   Although the first three days are celebrated on a grand scale, many Muslims, especially those in the cities, hold open house celebrations throughout the month, when friends and neighbours of other races are invited to join in.

 
 
  MUSLIM : Hari Raya Aidil Adha / Hari Raya Haji / Hari Raya Korban

 

Aidil Adha marks the completion of the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca. In Malaysia, it is more commonly known as Hari Raya Haji or Hari Raya Korban. The highlight of the festival is the sacrifice of cattle, goats or rams, following which the meat is distributed to the poor.   After the pilgrim, the men will be given Haji as the title in front of their name whereas Hajjah for women.

 

Hari Raya Haji falls on the 10th of the 12th month in Islamic lunar calendar which was the day where Adam and Hawa came from the heaven and made their trip to the earth before they met each other in Arafah.   This celebration day will start with prayer in the morning followed by the sacrifices of sheep at the mosque. The Sacrifices are made to commemorate the prophet Abraham's test of faith by the Allah when he was asked to sacrifice his son, Ismail. Today this sacrifices will then distributed among the poor and the relatives. Hari Raya Haji is of little different from Hari Raya Aildil Fitri. It is normally quite and people celebrate by enjoying the feast with the family and it celebrates for one day.

 
  MUSLIM : Prophet Muhammad's Birthday
 

The Prophet was born on the third month of the Muslim calendar in 570 AD. In Malaysia, his birthday is commemorated with gatherings for religious lectures and recitals of verses from the Holy Qur'an.

 
 
 

| Open House Tradition | Hindu | Other Religious |

CELEBRATIONS & FESTIVALS