Do your children find Christmas or Halloween more exciting than Hari Raya? Here's how you can turn up the level of fun for this festive occasion and make them enthusiastically look forward to it every year!
Singapore is home to a diverse blend of cultures, religions and walks of life.
There is always some sort of celebration going on and whether or not it is our own, we are usually more than happy to join in the fun as well!
But what happens if your child seems to get more excited about other festivities and doesn’t show the same level of enthusiasm for the ones your family do celebrate?
What is it about Christmas, Halloween or the Lunar New Year that seems to be more appealing to the little ones?
Is it the colourful decorations seen around town, shopping malls, schools and other public spaces? Or the upbeat and catchy tunes played on the airwaves? Perhaps it’s the influence from watching special festive-themed episodes of their favourite cartoon on TV?
But Hari Raya Puasa (also known as Eid ul Fitr) can be just as fun and exciting too. So if you want to improve your child’s Eid experience, just check out this great list of festive activities!
1. Read storybooks
Reading to your child on a regularly basis is not only a good way to bond, but it also plays a part in helping with her brain development.
You can borrow books from the library specifically about Ramadan and Hari Raya Puasa/ Eid ul Fitr, or buy them from selected bookstores.
We recommend: Hassan and Aneesa Love Ramadan by Yasmeen Rahim, Welcome Ramadan! by Lila Assiff-Tarabain, I’m Learning About Eid-ul-Fitr by Saniyasnain Khan, Celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr with Ama Fatima by Fawzia Gilani-Williams.
2. Cook and bake together
Whatever celebration it may be, everyone always looks forward to tucking into the delicious festive feasts!
Get your kids involved in cooking the special family meal, or try their hand at whipping up some delectable sweet treats.
This will make them feel more willing to try the food they prepared and also appreciate the meal once it is finally ready to eat.
If you’re not in a whizz in the kitchen, you can also make Raya extra special by ordering themed food!
3. Decorate the house
Deck the halls with hanging ketupats, fa la la la la, la la la la!
Get into the mood for Hari Raya Puasa by letting your kids help you decorate the house according to the festive theme.
This can include fairy lights, buntings, table-cloths, cushions, signages, lanterns, streamers, and more.
We recommend: Decorative lighting from IKEA ($11.90 ~ $79.90); Hari Raya printed wooden sign from Typo ($3); Pineapple Tart cushions from Nom Nom Plush ($26.32); Ketupat cushion from Giant (3 for $9.90); Assorted Hari Raya decorations from NTUC Fairprice ($2.90 onwards)
4. Get a Raya Blessings tree
Most children (and even adults) are fascinated by beautifully decorated Christmas trees — so why not get your very own Raya tree instead where you and your munchkins can happily decorate together?
There isn’t a specific kind of tree you have to stick to, so be creative and use whatever suits your home’s decor and your own personal taste — or you can even just decorate your favourite potted plant that you already have!
However, instead of putting presents for the family underneath the tree, keeping in line with the spirit of Ramadan and Hari Raya Puasa, it should be recognised as a Blessings tree.
So instead of ornaments and streamers (or in addition to), get decorative notes for your whole family to write special messages on and hang up.
Raya Blessings tree ideas: Write down everything you are grateful and thankful for; Hang up people’s names you would like to pray for; Include various good deeds you could each do; Print out your favourite Quranic verses.
5. Exchange greeting cards
Remember when you were a kid and would eagerly wait for the postman to come to deliver the mail, with the hopes that perhaps there was a letter – or better yet, a parcel – for you?
But in the modern age of technology and gadgets, it seems like festive greetings and well-wishes are mainly sent electronically either on the mobile phone, via email, or shared on social media.
Call us old-fashioned, but snail mail is still pretty fun (unless you receive a bill in the mail that is), and your child will find joy in creating her very own Hari Raya cards and mailing it out to her friends and relatives.
Encourage the recipients to return the favour by sending your little one a card too and watch how her face lights up when she finds out there is a special delivery in the postbox with her name on it!
6. Go to a Ramadan bazaar
Nothing helps to get you in the Raya mood than going to a Ramadan bazaar and soaking in the festive atmosphere!
There are several bazaars across Singapore you can bring your kids to see all the bright lights, hear the familiar jingles, and buy all your Hari Raya needs — the popular and well-known ones are mostly outdoors and some smaller ones are held at certain shopping malls.
You’ll most likely bump into someone you know there as well and can compare what delightful Raya goodies you’ve bought in preparation for this festive occasion.
Go to the next page for more fun and exciting Hari Raya ideas!