Five unspoken rules of celebrating Ramadan and Raya that all M’sians should know

Five unspoken rules of celebrating Ramadan and Raya that all M’sians should know


With the arrival of the Ramadan month, Malaysians are excited to celebrate the fasting month while preparing for Raya. Of course, with every festivity, there are always certain do’s and don’ts that Malaysians should be aware of.

So, if you’re unfamiliar with Ramadan or Raya celebrations, we’ve compiled a few ‘unspoken rules’ that could help you survive these festivities!

1. Don’t say “I should fast too so I can lose weight” to your Muslim friends

There’s no harm for non-Muslims to try fasting during Ramadan but remember to be respectful and avoid phrases like “I need to fast too so I can lose weight” in front of your Muslim friends!

Yes, fasting does lead to weight loss for some but the holy month is mainly about spiritual growth and not just a form of dieting!

2. If you want to avoid the ‘iftar’ crowd, make your dinner plans ahead of time

During Ramadan, it’s normal to see restaurants being jam-packed during buka puasa hour (after sunset).

If you’re not a fan of big crowds, we recommend avoiding Muslim-friendly or halal eateries during dinner time to give space to those who are breaking fast.

Your Muslim friends will greatly appreciate this, too. It’s all about courtesy, guys~

3. Want to bring a gift to an open house? Kuih raya or kerepek are great options!

Attending your first-ever Hari Raya open house? Fret not! Guests are actually not expected to bring any gifts at all.

If you insist on bringing ‘buah tangan’, kuih raya and kerepek are always appreciated because these can be shared with other guests too.

The biggest no-no would be any ‘haram’ gifts like alcohol or food containing pork.

P/S: Also, don’t be surprised if you’re invited to a Raya open house up to a month after Hari Raya. Raya kan sebulan!

4. Prepare a slew of answers up your sleeves to face those ‘makcik bawangs

We’ve all met that ‘makcik bawang’ who loves to shoot spicy questions. But before you lose your cool, remember: these aunties are just trying to make small talk. The best way to deal with them is by mentally preparing some answers so you won’t be flustered in the moment. For example:

  • “When are you getting married?” = “Still looking for my jodoh. Got any tips, aunty?”
  • “Why are you so fat now?!” = “Need to eat a lot to work hard and earn money!”
  • “When are you planning to have kids?” = “Maybe it’s not our rezeki yet. But pray for us, aunty!”

5. Make sure to whip out your best dress-to-impress look on Hari Raya

Hari Raya only comes by once a year and it’s a celebration that is anticipated by many.

It’s no wonder that you would see Malaysians wearing their brand-new baju raya, putting on their finest jewellery and making sure they look more presentable compared to other days. Need that perfect Hari Raya OOTD shot, right?