1st of all, to all my fellow Muslims, I would like to wish you Selamat Berpuasa. I am sure that sellers @ Bazar Ramadan will sell Jalur Gemilang alongside dates and Raya cookies.
Gong Xi Raya. DeepaRaya. X’mas Raya. We shall [Malaysians will] be ushering yet another double celebration, Raya Merdeka this year. This is the 2nd time Ramadan sychronises with Miladiah [Gregorian] month. The last known synchronisation was in 2008.
According to Wikipedia, Hari Raya Aidl Fitri for this year is going to be another joy for us. Next year [In 2012], it will be celebrated 2 days after Indonesia’s 67th Independence Day. Muslims across the Causeway [in Singapore to be exact] will celebrate it on the eve of NDP (a term that is popular among Singaporeans) in 2013.
If Hari Raya falls on Merdeka, the parade should be held @ noon as Muslims in Malaysia go to mosque to perform special Hari Raya prayers in the morning as well as listening to double khutbah (sermon) right after prayers. So, those who are participating in this year’s parade will have to sacrifice their Raya leave. The brass band in the parade will also be belting out Raya songs such as ‘Selamat Hari Raya, Menjelang Hari Raya, to name a few alongside patriotic songs. But, since Merdeka is celebrated on the 2nd day of Raya, a few people will be staying in the city such as KL. Some will be flocking to parades in their respective hometowns. While others are glued to the idiot box [6684373825464 TEEVEE to be exact] to watch their friends and relatives in action during the parade.
So, whatever it is, we should wait for the announcement by the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal on the dates of Hari Raya. In Malaysia, Ramadan and Hari Raya are determined by moon sighting on the 29th of Syaaban for Ramadan, 29th of Ramadan for Syawal, 29th of Zulkaedah for Zulhijah.
With the Merdeka Raya double celebration, this is something we’ll cherish. In my life, I’ve never seen this kind of double celebration between patriotism and a festivity.
[Just a Gist : The new Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal is Datuk Syed Danial Syed Ahmad, succeeding longest-serving Engku Dato Sri Ibrahim Ngah bin Engku Ibrahim.]