This year, Eid ul-fitr, or Hari Raya Aidilfitri, falls on Saturday, 22 April 2023. It is a festival to mark the end of the fasting month which takes place from 23 March – 21 April this year. Also known as Hari Raya Puasa, the religious occasion is a time to seek forgiveness and make amends. On this day, many Malay-Muslims in Singapore also look forward to wearing new clothes and a massive feast at their relatives’ homes all over Singapore. Not sure how to greet your Muslim friend or colleague? Here are three Hari Raya greetings commonly used in Singapore.
Selamat Hari Raya
Contrary to popular belief, Hari Raya Puasa is not the start of a Muslim new year. It falls on the tenth month of the Islamic calendar. Instead of wishing a happy new year, greet your fellow Malay-Muslim friend ‘Selamat Hari Raya’ which translates to ‘Have a happy celebration’. It is the most common greeting among the Malay-Muslim community in Singapore.
Maaf Zahir Batin
Hari Raya Aidilfitri is also a time to seek forgiveness. You can say “Maaf zahir dan batin” which means “I seek forgiveness from you physically and spiritually”. Younger Muslims will typically ask forgiveness from their elders while kissing their hand or placing their forehead on the elder’s hand.
Alternatively, you can greet in Arabic by saying “Eid Mubarak”. It is commonly used by Arab Christians and Arab Muslims as a way to say “happy holiday”. A closer translation of the greeting would be ‘celebration’ (Eid) and ‘blessings’ (Mubarak).