To commemorate me celebrating Eid Al Fitr in Malaysia with my family after years living in Japan, I present to you a post on 8 unique ways on how Malaysians celebrate Eid Al Fitr featuring delicious yummy licking finger food, fireworks and more!
Btw, to my Muslim friends, Eid Mubarak!
What is Eid Al Fitr?
Eid Al Fitr or Raya in the Malay language is a month after Ramadan – the fasting month. It marks the end of Ramadan and the start of the festival to celebrate our battle against ourselves. People are encouraged to wear clean, festive clothes and perform Eid prayer at the mosque.
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8 Unique Ways On How Malaysian Celebrate Eid Al Fitr
Cooking traditional Eid Al Fitr food
I’m is sure that every country has its own ‘Eid dishes’. The food that you would see on the table for a celebration. Like Christmas cakes or turkey. For the majority of Malay Muslims in Malaysia, we celebrate Eid by cooking our traditional dishes like lemang, dodol, rendang and ketupat. I’m sure that the dishes vary among regions, races but I can attest that at least ketupat, lemang and rendang are the must-haves Eid Al Fitr dishes.
Rendang, lemang and ketupat side by side.
A quick guide on the food I mentioned:
Lemang is sticky gluttonous rice mixed with coconut milk and a bit of salt and is cooked inside a bamboo stalk wrapped with banana leaves. This dish is also popular in Indonesia and Brunei.
Here’s a photo of my brother cooking lemang at my mum’s hometown
Can you see the round-shaped white thingy wrapped in the banana leaves? That’s lemang after it has been cooked.
Ketupat, according to Google is rice packed inside a diamond-
Rendang is made from cooking beef/chicken from coconut milk and coconut flakes (kerisik lol) together.
Our Eid dishes on the first Eid
This is what I miss the most when I celebrated Eid Al Fitr in Japan. Open house just like its name basically means you invite your friends, neighbours or relatives to come to your house to mingle and eat Eid dishes together. Our family usually did an open house every year but due to Corona, the event is cancelled.
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Colour matched Eid outfits
I think this is a very Malaysian thing to do. When I celebrated Eid in Japan, I don’t see families having matched Eid outfits.
Visiting parents’ hometown
Visiting my parents’ hometown to get duit raya. Tehee.
Give or get Duit raya
A tradition that is adopted from Malaysian Chinese giving angpau (pocked money) during Chinese New Year. It’s sad that I’m not getting any because I’m a working adult but at least my parents give me duit Raya. Btw, duit means money – one of the most beautiful words. Period.
What is Eid without some fireworks? I personally like playing fireworks aka bunga api when I was young and it is one of my memorable memories celebrating Eid in Malaysia. Japan have fireworks too that you can lit up in summer but it just doesn’t feel the same.
We also have some creatives young boys creating fireworks. It’s dangerous and every year I could see news of kids get hurt from creating their own version of fireworks. Glad to see that the cases went down due to lockdown.
Like our Eid dishes, we also have traditional Malaysian Eid desserts which called Kuih raya. Kuih=dessert. Here are a few of kuih raya made by my mum. My favourite is tart nenas. Some of the kuih raya would sound ridiculous in English. Imagine kuih siput LOL. The direct translation would be snail-shaped cookies. Guess which one is kuih siput?
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Corona really ruined our Eid celebration. Eid Al Fitr is supposed to be fun but I spend most of time in the house. To think that I get back from Japan to experience Eid al Fitr at home in Malaysia going to open house and seeing my friends’ newborn babies, I’m sad. T_T
To my fellow Malaysians, are there any points you want to add about how we celebrate Eid Al Fitr. And to others, what do you think about our uniques ways of celebrating Eid Al Fitr? Or any Eid dishes to try?