It’s that time of the year again when everyone is celebrating this special occasion – Hari Raya! Many people will either be hosting a Hari Raya open house or plan on visiting one. Either way, you need to know several things before doing them both – be it hosting or visiting a Hari Raya open house. With that being said, read on to find out more!
(Photo source: https://theculturetrip.com/asia/malaysia/articles/a-guide-to-hari-raya-aidilfitri/)
A Raya open house is when during the month of Syawal, which is also known as Hari Raya Puasa or Hari Raya Aidilfitri, various Muslims will have open houses whereby they invite visitors of all religions, races, and cultures to come and visit them to their homes. Most of the time anyone is able to visit between a certain period of time to make conversations alongside eating delicious food in a buffet style.
A Hari Raya open house is usually celebrated at the end of Ramadan, also known as the first day of Syawal. However, many people host a Raya open house throughout the entire month of Syawal.
When it comes to hosting a Hari Raya open house, it can be quite tiring and tedious with all the planning that needs to be done. If you need some tips for open house Raya, below are some useful ones:
Most people tend to host their Raya open house in their own homes. However, you can always rent a venue at The Estate for Raya open house where they take care of everything from A to Z! From the preparations such as decorations, tables, chairs, and the food – all you need to do is send your invites to your guests.
Essentially, renting a venue will be beneficial in terms of decreasing the workload as your own job is to entertain your guests. Of course, you need to allocate a certain budget if you were to host your Raya open house in a dedicated venue.
Welcome your guests with heartwarming decorations such as LED or colourful lights, hanging ketupats made with paper, and many more. There are so many Hari Raya decorations being sold in various shops such as Mr.DIY and party shops.
(Photo source: https://ladyboss.asia/just-hipster-bazaars-5-things-know-ramadan-hari-raya-puasa/)
Make your Raya open house more lively with classic Raya tunes or if you have the budget, invite a live band or singer to entertain your guests.
If you can afford it, be a little different and set up a mini photo booth and include props for your guests to take pictures!
The key highlight of a Raya open house is the food! Traditional Malay dishes and delicacies are usually served. If your family members are great cooks, you can opt to serve home-cooked food. Otherwise, you can always opt for catering services to save you the trouble as cooking does require a lot of effort. Be sure to serve a wide variety of curry, rendang, and soto.
Don’t forget dessert! Try to serve the traditional kuih muih or Malaysia’s favourite Ice Kacang or cendol!
Yes, don’t forget it’s common to give out money, also known as duit Raya, when you host a Raya open house! Make sure you have enough packets to give to all the kids that visit your open house.
Not sure what to wear to a Raya open house? Don’t be visiting a Raya open house with shorts, miniskirts, or singlets! You will have to wear covered clothing and not something that’s too revealing. You may consider wearing traditional costumes based on your own religion or traditional baju melayu or baju kurung.
It’s a basic courtesy to eat most of the food served – it makes the host happy seeing their guests enjoy the food! However, don’t try to wipe the entire table clean – be sure to leave some food for the other guests too!
Simply eat as much as your stomach can take. You wouldn’t want to overeat and end up throwing up after!
Though you are allowed to stay for many hours, it doesn’t mean you can just sit at the venue the whole entire day. Despite it being an open house, some hosts set a specific period of time where their guests can come over. Take note of when it starts and ends so you can plan properly.
Most Malaysians who eat with their hands sometimes tend to use their left hand. But in the Malay culture, using your left hand to eat is a sign of disrespect or deemed to be unhygienic due to the fact that the left hand is used to clean themselves when using the bathroom.
(Photo source: https://www.onmanorama.com/food/features/2020/02/08/eat-your-food-hands-to-enjoy.html)
You should always greet the host of the Raya open house because it is a sign of respect. Don’t forget to wish them Selamat Hari Raya as well as it is basic manners to do so, especially because you are entering their home (or venue).
Unless you are sitting outside, you should always take off your shoes before entering their home. This is because in the Muslim religion, they perform their daily prayers in their house, hence the floor has to remain clean throughout the day and night.
It’s a form of disrespect if you were to open the Raya packet upon receiving it, especially in front of the host. Wait until you are out of sight before opening it. Also, be sure to receive the packets with both of your hands or right hand – don’t use your left hand.
Wondering what to bring to a Raya open house? Don’t worry – it’s actually not needed to bring anything when visiting a Raya open house. Though if you really want to bring something over, you can bring a basket of fruits, nuts or chocolates.
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