Hari Raya Aidilfitri is just around the corner and here’s wishing our Muslim readers Eid Mubarak in advance!
Festivities are always filled with so much joy and celebrations, and we can make it special and memorable by spending time doing fun and meaningful things with our loved ones.
Whether you’re looking to do something new with your students, children, or even on your own, I’m glad you clicked on this article, because I’m going to be sharing how you can make this Hari Raya both fun and educational!
Make Malay-Muslim food
Food holds a major significance in any festival in Singapore (Hello foodies!), and Hari Raya is no exception.
Some of the most common Muslim delicacies that are enjoyed during Hari Raya include the ketupat (boiled rice wrapped in woven coconut leaves), lontong (boiled rice cake in vegetable stew), rendang (meat — usually beef, lamb or chicken), and many more.
Proportions are essential in making your food taste good.
Children can learn to understand the different units of measurements (e.g. grams) and measure the weight of different portions of ingredients before adding them in. It gives them exposure to the day-to-day application of math, which is growing increasingly important even in our local exams.
Cooking requires lots of communication too — be it verbal from an adult or written on a recipe.
When children are given instructions, they learn to receive the information, register what they need to do and carry it out.
It gives them the good practice of effective communication and translating words into action.
They need to practise how to pour things without spilling, proper handling of equipment and recognising safety and danger (e.g. staying away from fire, not placing papers near fire sources).
Cooking is an elaborate process that involves many different types of steps requiring different sets of skills, so everyone of all ages can be involved.
Just make sure to supervise children closely in the kitchen and give them tasks that are suitable for their age.
Wear Malay-Muslim costumes
Cultural clothing plays a big part in the festivities. Though often overlooked, traditional costumes hold lots of meaning and history. If we encourage children to put in the effort to appreciate the culture, they might discover more than they will expect!
According to Encyclopedia.com, Muslim clothes focused on modesty and simplicity, usually consisting of “loose clothing that covers the body and the head”.
Modesty does not only encapsulate clothes that are not revealing, but also clothes that do not flaunt wealth or poverty. In other words, Muslim clothes can be made simple yet beautiful.
During Hari Raya, Muslims usually wear the baju kurung, which is the traditional costume for both males and females.
Females often wear loose long-sleeved blouses with loose long skirts, while males don a songkok (black headgear), a loose long-sleeved shirt, and a Kain samping (short sarong) over long pants.
Trying on this type of clothing can be a new experience for children. Since children don’t get to wear traditional clothing in their everyday life, appreciating these costumes for festive occasions can be lots of fun and teach them a lot about the rich culture.
Do Art and Craft
Art and Craft is an integral part of a child’s development and also a stress-reliever. It promotes sensory learning for children as it hones their motor skills. They will learn how to fold, cut, weave among many other tasks.
You can make this Art and Craft session special by basing it on Hari Raya symbolisms.
Origami creations of Hari Raya ornaments would be fun and easy to start with. As mentioned, the Ketupat is one of the most popular Hari Raya delicacies which you can try to recreate with your children or students by weaving ribbons or cut papers.
You could also teach the children to associate colours by getting them to colour pictures that are associated with Hari Raya. A quick internet search should give you many lovely pictures to choose from.
Just like any other festivity, Hari Raya also has a colour strongly associated with it — and that is green. To Muslims, it symbolises paradise, nature, peace, affluence and abundance. Not forgetting the green packets!
As you have read above, there are many benefits to organising fun activities that children will look forward to, while aiding their development at the same time.
I hope that this article has given you some great ideas for the festive season! Have a joyous celebration!
Read our other articles for more activity ideas: