Kissing Hari Raya in the new normal

Hakim Hayat

Hari Raya Aidilfitri is a religious celebration for Muslims to commemorate the end of the fasting month of Ramadhan.

As Bruneians celebrate Hari Raya today, for the third year in a row, they will have to adhere to health protocols and guidelines during the festive season due to continued efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Private home events are permitted for close family members, as recently announced at the daily COVID-19 press conference, where the maximum is 30 guests for indoor events, not including the host, and 200 guests for outdoor events. For events in the halls, up to 300 people are allowed.

Health guidelines include the need for rapid antigen test (ART) screening before leaving home to visit family members, with those who test positive to report through the BruHealth app and self – isolate at home; wear face masks except when eating and drinking; and wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. Group visits and handshakes are not encouraged.

The public is reminded to take precautionary measures to protect each other, especially for those at high risk, such as the elderly, and to stay home if they feel unwell.

However, as we continue to practice social distancing and embrace the new normal, a little creativity is all we need to keep the party spirit going! A more intimate Raya celebration need not be without incident.

Here are ways to ensure a fun and memorable Raya just like it was, before COVID.

GIVE YOUR HOME A TUNE-UP

With all the time you have (we have three days off for the celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri), this is one of the main things to do in preparation for the festivities.

Even if you’re not expecting many guests this year, aside from your immediate family members, it’s still a good idea to do some spring cleaning in your home and clear out any old items you don’t have. used for 12 months. , as well as to decorate your house to give it a festive atmosphere.

At the very least, your living space will look great when you’re on a video call. Making it a habit once a year can mean more room for comfortable living.

WEAR YOUR BEST CLOTHES

Many of us may have already purchased our Raya clothing this year and can’t wait to dress up. Encourage the whole family to put on their best clothes on the first day to get into the spirit of Aidilfitri. After all, it is indeed Sunnah for Muslim men and women to wear their best clothes on this blessed festival.

Additionally, as many Muslims plan to take to social media to stay connected, we will still be able to virtually unveil our finest Raya garments this year.

AIDILFITRI PRAYER AT HOME

The Adilifitri prayer takes place once a year and is performed after the Subuh prayers, once the sun has fully risen and before the Zohor prayers.

It has two rakaat, involves a series of takbir. It is also a sunnah for Muslims to wear their best clothes when performing prayer.

Muslims are strongly encouraged to perform this prayer, although it is not compulsory.

Although Aidilfitri prayers in mosques across the country are permitted this year, Muslims also have the option of praying as a family in their own homes.

Perhaps these circumstances can bring a more special and meaningful experience for the whole family, as everyone can pray as a unit.

MAKE YOUR OWN KUIH RAYA

Instead of buying, why not try making your own kuih raya?

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert baker, following a family recipe or finding it online, you’ll be surprised at how satisfying it can be to make your own kuih.

Honoring the joy of giving during the holiday season, you can even make extras to give to neighbors, friends and family. Additionally, you can send your kuih raya to family and friends via delivery services.

SEND E-GREETING CARDS

If one is unable to travel and visit relatives abroad during this festive season, one can still send them Raya virtual greetings via email or messaging apps; or even send physical Raya cards in the mail.

Host a virtual or fun reunion with your family. Since Raya is only limited to close family members, one can choose to connect with relatives from different locations via group chat on various video conferencing platforms such as FaceTime, Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype.

Organize a practical moment for everyone and connect with your loved ones this Raya.

To make sessions more exciting, organize fun games and activities during the call, or even with your own family at home. Among Us, QuizUp, Psych, and Scrabble Go are examples of games for all ages.

Online Raya calls can also create more thoughtful conversations with loved ones, as the dedicated time allows both parties to properly reconnect.

Plus, being virtually present means you can attend multiple gatherings online with minimal hassle, all from the safety and comfort of your own home.

GET FOOD DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR

One of the most anticipated elements of every Ramadhan and Hari Raya is food. Apart from cooking or baking at home, you can always order food to be delivered to your doorstep, or even to the doorstep of your loved ones, through food delivery services.

AN AIDILFITRI TO REMEMBER

Despite the pandemic, the joy that Aidilfitri brings is still possible. The traditions we have kept over the years can still be maintained in the new normal.

As with the practice of Aidilfitri prayers, the request for forgiveness and festive meals can always be met in these difficult times.

May our Hari Raya Aidilfitri be a joyous and memorable occasion. After all, it is about spending time with our loved ones and reflecting on the blessings we have received from Allah the Almighty.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir & Batin!

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