food, Malay, Singapore

My Hari Raya or Eid

After fasting for a month, Muslims around the world celebrate this victory of the physical, spiritual and mental self with a few days of celebration called Eid. Or in this part of the world I’m from, Hari Raya – literally Day of Celebration.

However, the mood is sombre with what’s happening over in Gaza and here in our tiny island. We entered a phase of Heightened Alert so on Hari Raya we were only allowed 5 visitors to the home, but could visit two other homes. Naturally for me, it was a visit to the mothers’ but for some of my friends who have more than 5 people in their household, they stayed home. 😦

Let me share how Hari Raya is celebrated in my family. Which is pretty much how many Malays here would celebrate it.

In Singapore and Malaysia, cookies is a must and a staple on the table. When we receive guests, they sit around the table and are served cookies. Mind you, these cookies are never huge Subway kinds! Many times, they are dainty bite-sized pieces and they come in a variety of colours and flavours. I’ve shared a couple I think on this blog site, the latest being the Dahlia cookies. Slowly, when I roll into semi-retirement mode, I’ll make more cookie types and share them. 🙂

Growing up, a staple Raya cookie is the Kuih Tart or Pineapple Tarts which my mom would make yearly. My family’s version is an open faced tart instead of the balled versions. I have shared the recipe here.

Another family staple is Biskut Gajus (cashewnuts cookies), Macaroons (not the French type) and chocolate chip cookies. Alas, my mother is getting too old to be making Raya cookies so I usually buy them from others or try making one or two types if time permits.

These cookies are placed in pretty canisters of choice. Pyrex is the classic but lately, Pyrex does not make pretty canisters anymore so I have been using these pink ones I have since more than a decade ago.

Let me show how it’s like in pictures.

I have exactly six pink canisters, and luckily for me this year, I have exactly six types of cookies. 😂
We line these canisters with paper doilies. All these I learn of course from my mom and aunts. And when I married, I learnt that my mom in law does the exact same thing. It’s tradition I guess for many. It protects the canisters from the grease.
Fill the canisters to the brim with cookies. Because they look very pretty when filled. These are pineapple tarts, the filled ones which I bought online.
I just love my pink canisters! 6 different types of cookies, two which I made myself 😆
And then what we do is we place them on a table. I have two larger canisters filled with nuts. One was spiced coated cashewnuts and the other spiced peanuts.
Hope you have a rough idea how it’s celebrated here. Sitting around a table full of cookies and crunchy savouries and making small talk. This year, only my brother came with his family because the next thing we knew, the restrictions from 5 was reduced to 2! And that was the end of everything 😂

I must say I really do miss my celebrations not only pre-COVID but also pre-marriage days! Or rather pre-teen kids as now they feel theyare too old to celebrate with us days! 😂 It’s fun when you’re a kid, playing with cousins and eating tons of cookies without gaining a pound but that’s life. Maybe one day it’ll be fun again with grandkids? Oh my goodness! Hopefully that’ll be another 15 years from now! 🤣

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