Saturday, October 13, 2007

First Day Celebrations

Syawal Family Portrait 2007. Our family tradition

Preparations in Ramadan for Hari Raya Eidulfitri this year was not that hectic when spread and started spring cleaning, house-keeping and little maintenances around the house early, in fact well before the fasting month.

So there was not really anything last-minute to do on the eve... except our priced carpets gave us the surprise when both appeared yellowish with ugly brown spot left Wifey totally shocked.

Carpets & more carpets at Geylang Raya Bazaar

Last day, last minute, last time.

We had to drop by Geylang Serai Raya Bazaar right after our last break of fasting for the month to hunt and get replacements... well, it was time enough to retire the old carpets anyway.

Phew! What a relief we got the two 6x9 ft "wormy-woven" carpets that we contemplated to buy for S$190.00 each down from S$250.00 from the weeks before.

Knowingly, the last day of Ramadan is when most stocks are to be cleared at low-low prices at the bazaar. The stall owners have no shop or storerooms too keep them, so they have to let go to clear before Hari Raya.

Syawal morning dew. Heading for Eidulfitri prayer

And the morning after...

In the morning, a faint sound from the nearby Darul Gufran Mosque praising The Almighty in the morning of Eidulfitri never fails to warm my heart with thankfulness.

The start of a wonderful month-long celebrations of visits to family and friends home is an exciting thought to me. We seek forgiveness from one another for all the wrong-doings we may done and ill-thoughts we may have harbored throughout the year before.

Syawal mornings look especially beautiful without a doubt...

This morning was no exception. Cool, clean air and dewy... dreamy even after a heavy shower the night before, as my Son and I walked down to the mosque for our 8:00 o'clock morning Eidulfitri prayers.

Wifey stayed home to prepare breakfast of Lontong and Kuah Lodeh with a touch of spicy Sambal Udang and Serunding Lembu topping. Heaven!

This morning would be our first breakfast after a month-long of fasting in the day.

Eidulfitri morning prayers at Darul Gufran Mosque

Dads, sons, brothers, fellow Muslims...

Everyone was "decked" in colorful clothes. Cheery-faced little sons with their tired-looking dads; most probably because of the lack of sleep the few nights before, busy with tons of last minute cleaning-up and the overnight ketupat-cooking.

The mosque was expectedly crowded so tents were erected outside the open field in front of the mosque, but there were just too many people this morning that extra canvases were spread almost over the entire field to accommodate rows and rows of people ready for the morning prayers.

It was evident to see trails and trails of cars and pickups and trucks lined both sides of the roads leading to the mosque.

On normal days the traffic police would have a field day issuing tickets for illegal parking on double yellow lines and near traffic junctions, but not on this auspicious day and every Fridays for that matter, when mosques are usually packed.

We were so fortunate, when a man called-out to us as we just happened to pass by the row that had exactly two empty spaces for us. It would take several rounds around the parameter to look for "cracks" in the prayer lines to "slot" ourselves in.

Eidulfitri prayers are always reminders that we should continue our restraints and good habits as how we observed ourselves in Ramadan.

Family clusters photo-taking sessions at parents' place

Smile, snaps and more smiles all day!

Wifey was feeling a little under the weather this morning, so we stayed at home watching holiday movies and Hari Raya variety shows until it was time for us to go to our parents' place for visiting.

As a family tradition, it will not be right until we have taken our Hari Raya Family Portrait like we do every year since we were all "decked-up" so vibrantly in our colorful traditional Malay Baju Kurung.

Notice this year is a little different. The only lady in the house is now in the centre. Since our Son had turned 12 last June, he is practically a teenager, befitting to protect his mother like I am to her.

It drizzled a little on and off today, but it was just nice and cool weather nonetheless. A downpour will not deter families from visiting... just a little late arriving only.

So off we went to join my siblings at my parents' house in Woodlands. Wifey's Mom is in KL, Malaysia, so we could only called to wish her and seek her forgiveness over the phone.

Else like a few before, we would spend half a day at each home, which meant fully stuffed stomachs by the end of the day!

They do not call it a day of feating after fasting for nothing!

Mom & Dad: The Happy Couple

Great fun, great food, great family!

I just could not believe that my two old folks had incredible energy to shop and cook for hours in the kitchen the 5 dishes that traditionally to Eidulfitri... Sambal Goreng Udang, Kuah Satay Tetil, Kari Daging, Kuah Lodeh and Udang Masak Merah.

Interestingly enough, each of the 5 dishes was cooked in mind of their various children's favourite dish. My is definitely Sambal Goreng Udang which Mom makes the best!

Mom also received lots of Raya Cookies and dishes from her Malay neighbours very early in the morning too. It was totally great family get-together... a small home that could accommodate easily more than 30 people.

Several of Dad's relatives came by too with their families that could have filled my parents' house with about 45 people. It would have been termed an illegal gathering if it were not for this festive celebration.

Stayed there until after 9:00pm.

Son and two of his 20 odd cousins

And we will meet again...

We will be meeting each other again this Saturday for the house-to-house visiting, by a chartered a coach for the whole day. This would be the highlight of our Raya celebrations when we get to go to our relatives' houses.

This is indeed a wonderful time of the year!


  1. All the celebrating sounds like so much fun. Your family looks great in their colorful outfits. Happy celebrating!

  2. Wow awesome great photo's the entire family it's so diffrent from our culture etc. It's really wonderful to have your family in our life. Glad you liked your goofy card. Gosh Danish is really looking like a young man and you and Azi are so great together.. give all a big big hug for us..With love ...


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