In a few days, we will be celebrating Hari Raya. Aren’t you all excited? The joyous festival, colourful new Raya clothes, the mouth-watering food, meeting family and friends,.. Oh, I am really looking forward to it! Well, put all the excitements aside for a while. We should bear in mind that Syawal is not only a month of commemorating victory after performing your fast and other religious acts during Ramadan. It is also a month of sharing, asking and giving forgiveness as well as bonding time to strengthen your relationship with others. Wishing for a great and meaningful Raya? Here are some tips that could make your Raya celebration this year among the memorable ones.
1. Prepare Raya money packets for the older people too
If you are preparing money packets for the kids, please put aside some of those packets to be given to older people or relatives that you meet. It is not necessary to put a big amount of cash in the packet but just something that you can afford as a token of appreciation to them. Slip the money packet in their hands and get ready to receive the warmth of their smiles. You can also bring gifts when visiting friends and relatives. Just remember, the more you share with others, the happier you’ll be.
2. Get the best Raya outfits for you and your family
Have you prepared your Raya outfits? Regardless of your picks on the overall look (stunning, elegant or traditional), kindly make sure that you have the best comfortable clothing on. Either you are out visiting relatives one house after another or as a host entertaining guests the entire day, get the best matching Raya outfits (of course, including bags and shoes too.) for you and your family. Be pleasant and confident all day.
3. Plan your day
As this is a once in a year celebration, might as well you go all out, right? Sure you want to visit as many relatives and friends as possible. So, plan your day carefully - which area do you want to go first, whose house you should visit next. You have to take into account the traffic too as you don’t want to get stuck for hours in traffic jams. A well-planned day means you’ll be spending this jolly festival with more people.
4. Control your food intake
This is crucial. Avoid taking too much oily and spicy Raya food. I know that rendang, ketupat and satay are tempting but the last thing you want is having to pay several trips to the lavatory due to your upset stomach. There’s more to Syawal than trying various scrumptious cuisines. You should be enjoying your day with your family. So, eat moderately and don’t forget to hydrate yourself by drinking a lot of plain water.
5. Time to catch up
When you live far away from your relatives and only get to meet them once a year, for sure there’s a lot of catching up to be done.Get to know your relatives better - interact less with your phone and more with people. Chit chat, exchange notes and take a few good photos for memory sake. However, try not to come up with sensitive issues that might offend others such as when do you want to get married, when are you all going to have a baby or why are you putting on weight? This is Raya, guys. You want to spread as much love and positive vibes as you could, not vice versa.
6. Forgive and forget
Ramadan and Syawal are the special months for asking and giving forgiveness. In the spirit of Syawal, ask forgiveness with your whole heart from those you hurt. Ready to sincerely give your forgiveness as well. Free your heart (and mind) from vengeance and hatred. Learn to let go. This is the best moment to start fresh. You’ll be amazed to find how relieved and serene you can be after that.
7. Don’t forget the needy and unfortunates
Pay a visit to an orphanage or the old folks home. Allocate some time to celebrate the festive day with them. Offer a kind word or a listening ear. Give honest compliments or do other random act of kindness. Show them that you care. Be the reason for them to believe they are not less fortunate just because they are lacking in something (parents, health or wealth). You can also bring some delicious Raya delicacies to be enjoyed together. Spending time with them will definitely make you feel grateful, help you to reflect on the meaning of true joy.
So, ready for a majestic lebaran celebration? Do try the tips above. If you have something else to be added, kindly share with me in the comment box below. Happy Eid! Have a wonderful celebration. Be fabulous, have fun and ready to create fond memories with your loved ones.