Geylang Serai and Kampong Glam draw in a large crowd with Muslims gathering during Ramadan to buy festive items and food to eat when the fast is broken. Muslims generally wake up before sunrise in the morning on that day itself, and offer a pre-sunrise prayer and clean their teeth, take a shower and dress themselves up in authentic Malay outfits.
Ramadan in Geylang Serai (Photo credit: yeowatzup)
On the morning itself, a small meal usually comprising dates is taken before prayers as an indication of not fasting on that day, which is forbidden. They would also pay a token amount to a charity. The prayer is followed by a sermon and a supplication requesting for God's forgiveness, mercy, peace and blessings for all living beings across the world.
During the sermon it is prohibited to talk, walk about or pray. After the prayers, Muslims begin to visit their relatives, friends and acquaintances or just hold large communal celebrations. Very much like the Chinese New Year celebrations, money is given in green packets to children and immediate families. As such, Hari Raya Puasa is commonly mistaken for a Muslim New Year. Nevertheless invitations are often extended to other ethnic groups and visitors alike.
Witness and capture the spirit of the Hari Raya Pausa at Kampong Glam and Geylang Serai with bazaar tenants turning up the volume of their stereos to make the Islamic call to prayer, audible over the sound of traffic and noisy chattering. Have a feast with Muslim favorites like the Ramly Burger, otah-otah, curry puffs and other Halal fare.
In 2013, Hari Raya Puasa will fall on 8 August.