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Happy Eid al-Fitr to our Muslim friends in ASEAN and beyond.

Eid al-Fitr is an Arabic term for “festival of breaking fast” which marks the end of Ramadan or the Islamic holy month of fasting. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and during this month, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset, practice prayers, express empathy, abstain from bad deeds, as well as engage in acts of charity and self-reflection. After a month of fasting, Muslims worldwide celebrate Eid al-Fitr through prayers, feasts, family gathering and charitable giving.

In ASEAN countries of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, Eid al-Fitr or Hari Raya Aidilfitri is observed as public holiday. The days usually begin with the morning Eid prayer followed by visiting families and friends to enjoy the festive meals. The people also wear newly bought traditional dresses in a variety of bright colors and greet each other with "Selamat Hari Raya" (Indonesian) or "Salam Aidilfitri" (Malay) which means "Happy Eid".

Eid celebration in Southeast Asia is also strongly associated with cultural activities, especially the traditional cuisine. On the feast, they usually eat “ketupat” or rice cake wrapped in palm leave woven in a diamond-shape. It was first introduced in Indonesia it is also found in Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, and southern Thailand. Ketupat is served during Eid as it represents s gratitude and unity—a reminder to be grateful for hard work by farmers and others to bring food to tables, and a communal process of making with family, friends, and community.

May this Eid bring you peace and blessings.


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