Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2017 and 2018
Hari Raya Aidilfitri is one of the biggest holidays in Brunei. Hari Raya means “celebration day” and Hari Raya Aidilfitri is the day that marks the end of Ramadhan, the Islamic holy month of dawn-to-sunset fasting.
|2017||25 Jun to 28 Jun||Sun to Wed||Hari Raya Aidil Fitri|
|2018||15 Jun to 19 Jun||Fri to Tue||Hari Raya Aidil Fitri|
History of Hari Raya Aidifitri
During Ramadhan, Muslims are forbidden from eating and drinking from dawn until sunset. They are also forbidden from engaging in sexual relations, lying, breaking promises, cheating or smoking. Only the sick are excused from the fasting period which lasts for one month. The month is designed to remind Muslims of the need for self-control and submitting to Allah. Even small children are required to adhere to the Ramadan requirements. Hari Raya Aidifitri celebrates the end of Ramadhan and is designed to be a day of celebration.
Traditions and Celebrations
Many Muslims and non-Muslims return to their family home for a few days prior to Hari Raya Aidifitri so that they can celebrate the holiday with family and friends. While together, family and friends seek forgiveness from each other. Many say prayers at the mosques of relatives and enjoy meals with family or friends that consist of traditional food and drink. Children are often given token sums of money by parents and elders.
On the eve of Hari Raya Aidifitri, families busily prepare and cook food for the day. No one leaves home the night before, but gather to talk, eat and drink. The next day, people leave home to visit relatives and friends which continues throughout the fourth day of the festival. On the first day of the festival, homes are opened in order to share food and drink with others.
Large crowds gather to set off firecrackers or carry lanterns. People use household items as drums to call for prayers. Often, the celebration lasts for hours, similar to New Year’s celebrations in other countries. In fact, many unfamiliar with the holiday believe that Hari Raya Aidifitri is the Muslim new year, but it is not.
During Hari Raya Aidifitri, Istana Nurul Iman Palace is opened to the public for two days and the Royal Family welcomes visitors. Bruneians dress in their best clothing in order to meet the royals as it is considered good luck to do so. Each visitor receives a bar of chocolate with a royal seal and children receive five Brunei dollars which are considered “lucky money.” Tourists are also welcome to visit the place that day and receive a gift.