It's Hari Raya Aidilfitri [or Eid al-Fitr or even عيد الفطر, if you want to get all Arabic!] today, a joyous occasion marking the entry of Syawal after the sombre of Ramadan. Lemang, ketupat, rendang, serunding, kuih - they are certainly worth the month-long wait! It is a time to celebrate and get together with everyone, catch up with conversations and idiosyncratic anecdotes.
What started out as a celebration of the end of the month-long Ramadan fast, then grew and expanded into a glorious festivity filled with good food, smiling faces, and just plain fun. Nowadays, Malaysians all throughout the country look forward to open houses, where an absence of invitations leaves much room for feasting and light-hearted conversations. Hosts would have such a time; from bustling around in the kitchen to prepare that sumptuous feast, to entertaining guests with warm chats. This national phenomenon is such a mainstay with any celebration that there is such a thing as a national level Open House!
However, as with most festivities, it faces the danger of losing its spirit to drab commercialisations, as conglomerates cash in on this without fail. Buyers jostle at shops offering festive sales, readily buying away everything and anything for the sake of a bargain. The television runs favourite drama episodes back-to-back on this pretext, running those overly-repeated Hari Raya advertisements and cheesy songs. Have we truly succumbed to the hand of materialisation, and lost the true intention of Hari Raya?
With that being said, let us go and reflect on the several past months, to reflect our ups and downs with all your family, and simply celebrate with everyone, as we herald the entry of Syawal. It may be that medal you won for coming first in a race, or the new house that you have been eyeing for so long, or perhaps you just are happy that you have lived yet another year! These things give true meaning to our lives, and these things should be the predominant themes of celebration as we happily go on with Hari Raya.
With that, I sincerely wish everyone a happy Hari Raya Aidilfitri to everyone, and a pleasant holiday to all!