We’re blessed in Singapore to have a myriad of festivals to celebrate as the nation is multi-racial and multi-cultural. One of these recent celebrations was Hari Raya Puasa which is also known as Eid. It’s the celebration of the end of a month long fast where Muslims abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset.
During the time of Ramadan, Muslims reflect on their faith, pray regularly and free their minds from evil thoughts and deeds. As with all important religious festivals here, families take the time to do a whole lot of spring cleaning and shopping for new household items. To get a good glimpse into the preparation for Raya, we headed out to Geylang Serai which can arguably be called the Malay Quarter of Singapore. As usual, it was tough getting there by car but when we finally got out, we were greeted by a fantastic festive air all around us!
I’d never seen so much traditional foods such as ‘Lemang’ and ‘Ketupat’ in one place as well as beautiful carpets, curtains, clothes, jewellery and household items. Ketupat is made with ‘broken’ rice which leads to the rice being nicely packed into the shape of the instrument in which it’s steamed in while Lemang is made with glutimous rice and coconut milk which gives it a lovely ‘rich’ taste! Both of these items are generally eaten as an accompaniment to other dishes such as Beef Rendang and Serondeng.
Like most bazaars, this one had other types of food being served. We caught this lovely ‘Mak Cik’ selling putu piring.
It should be noted that despite all the good food, new clothes and merry making, there is still a serious view to the festivities. The traditional greeting is accompanied by seeking forgieness for all wrong doing during the past year and alms must be given to the poor.