When someone says “Hari Raya Aidilfitri“, a few things would definitely pop up in our minds. Rendang, Ketupat, Lemang, Baju Melayu, cute girls posting their #OOTD on Instagram, green Ang Pow packets and so on.
However, these things are quite too local for a worldwide celebration don’t you think? That’s why we’re trying to broaden your horizons by showcasing unique Hari Raya traditions from all across the globe. Trust us, by the end of this article, you’ll definitely be seeing a whole new world!
1. The Lombok and Bali Ketupat War
Perang Topat or the Ketupat War, the annual Hari Raya traditions of the Muslim inhabitants of the Indonesian islands of Bali and Lombok is hands down one of the most unique yet relatable (I mean, who doesn’t have the urge to throw a Ketupat at their kepoh sister come Hari Raya, right?) traditions from across the globe.
Locally known as Lebaran Topat, this unique tradition involves two factions literally throwing Ketupats at each other.
Here’s all you need to know:
- The word “Topat” itself is derived from Ketupat, a Hari Raya delicacy that’s all too familiar for us Malaysians.
- The tradition takes place on the 7th day of Shawal or at the very end of the first week of Eid.
- Stretching back hundreds of years, this celebration is actually a commemoration of the lasting peace between the local Hindus and Muslims population. Previously, there were at war with each other.
- That’s why the two factions throwing Ketupats are actually local Muslim and Hindus; a unique sign of harmony between the two religions on both islands.
- More prominently celebrated in Lombok, you can find out more regarding the gorgeous island here.
2. Having a food fight with colourful hard-boiled eggs in Afghanistan
Just like in Indonesia, Afghanistan also have a Hari Raya tradition that involves some sort of food fight; only this time around it’s hard-boiled eggs instead of Ketupats. Called the Tokhm-Jangi, here are all the deets to know for you to take in the unique Eid eggs-perience:
- A typical Afghan family will buy around 200 eggs just for this tradition alone!
- The Tokhm-Jangi can be played with only two persons but it is traditionally played amongst a group of men.
- During Hari Raya, Afghan men will be gathering in open spaces going around trying to crack each other’s eggs. Sounds fun!
- The eggs themselves are boiled and then decorated with various colours and designs which is very reminiscent of Easter celebration.
- The last men standing with their eggs unscathed is declared the winner!
3. Beautiful henna art and spotting the new moon in India and Pakistan
In India, Hari Raya celebration is known as “Chaand Raat” which literally means “night with a new moon”. This tradition takes place on the eve of Eid where Muslims gather around the colourfully decorated city streets and bazaars wishing Chaand Raat Mubarak (Have a blessed night of the new moon) to each other.
What you should know:
- During Chaand Raat, local Muslim women usually put on decorative henna designs on their feet and hands.
- Families and friends will be gathering around open spaces trying to spot the new moon which commemorates the start of the Islamic month of Shawal.
- Eidi or gifts will be shared amongst neighbours in the form of money or sweets.
- The popular cuisines during this festive celebration include Seviyan (a type of vermicelli pudding), Kebabs, Nihari (a type of meat stew), Haleem (a type of stew containing wheat) and more!
- During this time, women will usually be visiting malls or bazaars to purchase a traditional dress called Shalwar Kameez, bangles, jewellery and bags.
4. Children going ‘trick or treat’-ing in Turkey
Known as “Seker Bayrami” or ‘holiday of the sweets ‘in Turkey, the Eid celebrations in this part of the world is very similar to Halloween (only without any hantu raya involved). Children will be going door to door wishing people a happy Bayram and receiving candies and traditional sweets in return.
What you should know:
- Although an Eid celebration, the tradition will actually start at the end of the fasting month that precedes Eid.
- It is important to honour the elderly during Seker Bayrami hence why most of the younger generation will be visiting their older relatives during this time.
- It is customary for the young to kiss the right hand of the elderly and placing it on their forehead.
- Similar to Halloween, Turkish children will be gathering with their friends to go door to door in their neighbourhoods to collect candies. If they’re lucky, the host may even give them money packets!
- These sweets include baklava, Turkish delights, chocolates, candies and more. Yum!
There you have it, a few of the more unique celebrations of Hari Raya Aidilfitri that you probably never know about before today! Which one is your favourite and do you think any of these traditions should be introduced to our shores? Well, I for one won’t mind if we started throwing Ketupat at each other on Raya morning 😛
Have you experienced any other unique Aidilfitri traditions that are not on the list? Share your stories with us in the comments section! From all of us at WORLD OF BUZZ, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin!
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