Issue 111


Grassroots with passion

8 Things about

you always wanted to know

Embrace the spirit of the season with this handy guide

Taking place on 5 June this year, Hari Raya Puasa is a time of celebration for Muslims all over the world. The occasion is marked by special prayers, visits to family and friends and trips to Hari Raya bazaars. All Singaporeans are welcome to join in the festivities that come with Hari Raya Puasa, and to make sure you get the full experience, here are eight things you should know about the religious holiday.

What does “Hari Raya Puasa” mean?

Theholiday isknown inSingaporeasHari RayaPuasa or Hari Raya Aidilfitri. “Hari Raya” means “great day” in Malay, referring to its significance at the end of a month of fasting (“puasa” is Malay for “fasting”). In Arabic, the holiday is called Eid al- Fitr, or simply Eid. Hari Raya Puasa is a time to rejoice after a month of abstinence.

What does “Ramadan” mean?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the twelve- month Islamic calendar, and Hari Raya Puasa takes place on the first day of Shawwal (or Syawal), the tenth month. According to Oxford Dictionaries, the word “Ramadan” comes from the Arabic word “ramada” which means “be hot”. Ramadan holds significance as the month in which the Quran was revealed. Why do the dates of Ramadan and Hari Raya Puasa change every year? A lunar calendar, the Islamic calendar consists of 354 or 355 days, meaning that Ramadan begins approximately 11 days earlier than it did in the preceding year according to the Gregorian calendar. As such, Hari Raya Puasa also takes place about 11 days earlier each year.

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