The Hari Raya Aidilfitri is the term used in Malaysia for the Muslim festival of Eid. As with fellow Muslims across the globe, this festival is earnestly celebrated by the people of Malaysia.
Literally the phrase 'Hari Raya' translates as 'Day of Celebration' when Muslims recite a special prayer at the start of the day and spend the remainder of the day visiting friends and relatives. Young people take this opportunity to seek the forgiveness of their elders for any past misconduct.
This Muslim festival is a religious holiday which marks the conclusion of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting which is undertaken by all Muslims except the old, young or infirm. Fasting is intended to give each person a sense of patience, humility and sacrifice. At this time Muslims seek forgiveness for past misdemeanours, recite additional prayers and attempt to spiritually cleanse themselves through undertaking good deeds and self-restraint. In many parts of the country Ramadan bazaars are featured, offering typical Malay delicacies. Numerous restaurants and hotels provide sumptuous Ramadan buffets at this time of the year.
At the time of Hari Raya Aidilfitri the entire country takes on a festive ambience. In urban areas throughout Malaysia shopping centres and malls offer extensive sales and promotions encouraging shoppers to buy festive items, foods and clothes. Traditional festive songs are played on the radio and in shopping complexes, and public areas are colourfully decorated.
During this time Malays attire themselves in traditional costumes featuring textiles like batik and songket. Malays will also visit the graves of deceased loved ones, to clean the grave sites, quote from the Quran and offer prayers for the departed.