The True Meaning of Hari Raya Haji
Eid Adha, more commonly known as Hari Raya Haji, is one of two Muslim holidays in Singapore.
Hari Raya Haji is an important religious holiday observed by Muslims around the world. The Islamic calendar consists of two Eid celebrations – Hari Raya Puasa (Eid Fitr) and Hari Raya Haji (Eid Adha). This year, Hari Raya Haji falls on the 20 July, which is the tenth day of the month of Dzulhijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. This marks the conclusion of the annual Haj, the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.
This pilgrimage is mandatory for all Muslims (physically and financially-abled) to perform at least once in their lifetime. There is only one month in each year that Muslims are able to perform the Haj and this is during the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar, Zulhijjah. The pandemic has meant that space is limited in Mecca and with the already long waitlist, not everyone is able to perform the Haj annually even if they are able to.
Compared to the bright and vibrant celebrations of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Hari Raya Haji celebrations are more intimate and hold more significance for those who have completed the pilgrimage. For Muslims who are not performing the Haj pilgrimage this year, this is still a great time of blessings and self-reflection.
Impact on Relocation
In general, Muslim countries will see businesses, shops, and local authorities closed on Hari Raya Haji. Assignees should be made aware of potential delays if they are relocating during this period and should aim to get any necessities (like groceries) before the holiday begins. The length of business closures and delays to public services will vary from country to country.
With stricter COVID-19 measures in Singapore, celebrating this festival will be on a smaller scale for 2021. However, if Covid restrictions are eased in time, assignees can catch the celebrations taking place at the Sultan Mosque or Masjid Sultan, which houses one the largest and most iconic mosques in Singapore. The mosque is open to all during this holiday.
More on the Festival
An excellent way to get into the Hari Raya Haji spirit is to donate to families in need in Singapore or donate to charities that help communities in other countries. Muslims go to the mosque for sermons and prayers on the morning of the holiday. After which, the korban is performed.
Both Eid Fitr and Eid Adha encourage Muslims to focus on the spirit of giving and strengthening friendship and familial ties. Most Muslim festivals focus on sacrifice and it serves as a reminder that there are many people in our community that may require our help and support. As a result, donating and sharing food during this time, to those who would benefit more from it is a noble deed.
The Cartus team wishes everyone a blessed Eid Adha and Selamat Hari Raya Haji!