Singapore lights up as the country celebrates the end of fasting with new clothes, clean houses, fireworks and delicious meals with friends.
What: Hari Raya Pussa is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims. It marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting, and sees Muslims visiting mosques early in the morning to pray, followed by visiting graves, then returning to the mosques to recite more prayers.
When: The date changes every year. It is based on the lunar Islamic calendar and usually falls on the first day of the tenth month, although it also depends on the observance of the new moon.
Customs: On this day it is customary to wear new clothes, often in the traditional Singapore style. For men, this is a long sleeved shirt worn with a sarong, a sampin wrapped around the mid section, and headwear. For women, traditional clothing is a full length skirt with a long sleeved blouse reaching down to the hip or knees, usually in a bright colour or bold pattern.
Hari Raya Pussa is also a day to clean the family home, have friends over and eat delicious cakes, biscuits and sweets.
Highlights: The streets look beautiful at night as homes are lit up with oil lamps during this celebration. Be sure to keep an eye out for bamboo cannon firecrackers being lit – they’re extremely loud and also quite dangerous!
Travel: When travelling during Hari Raya Pussa, be aware that traffic and public transport can be very congested and take much longer than usual, especially on the main highways. Rental cars may also be booked out and some restaurants and shops will be closed for the holiday period.
The day before Hari Raya Pussa is also very busy as many companies give staff a half day off and it is common for people to return to their families and parent’s homes, meaning there is widespread interstate travel. Public transport and flights can be booked out quickly so be sure to secure your spot early!