How to prepare for Hari Raya Puasa, including getting a thorough Ramadan cleaning, and setting up for a grand, joyous, and memorable celebration?
We got it – Singapore is a multi-racial and multi-cultural society. So even with all the previous hype on Deepavali and Chinese New Year Cleaning, we cannot miss out dedicating dear tips and prep advice for Muslims (not just Malay friends and colleagues) who are about to embark on their fasting month / Ramadan period.
What exactly is Hari Raya Puasa, and Ramadan?
In the Gregorian calendar year, the dates for Hari Raya Puasa and Ramadan varies from year to year.
Most of us follow this Gregorian calendar (also known as the Christian or Western calendar) from 1st of January to 31st of December for most work and social events. However, both Hari Raya Puasa and Ramadan follow the Hijrah (Islamic) Calendar. Therefore, the exact days for Hari Raya Puasa and Ramadan change for each Gregorian calendar year.
Muslim friends start their journey towards Hari Raya Puasa, from the first day of Ramadan.
Ramadan is basically the ninth month of the Hijrah Calendar, and it lasts for 30 straight days. It is also commonly known as Ramazan, Ramzan, Ramadhan or Ramanthan. Hari Raya Puasa, on the other hand, is the very first day of the tenth month (Syawal) of the Hijrah Calendar. This day is also known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri / Eidilfitri / Eid al-Fitr, or the Festival of Eid.
Important Differences Between Hari Raya and Ramadan
Ramadan is a period where Muslims should place greater emphasis on the teachings of Islam, their religion. During these 30 days, they are expected to observe fasting (sawm) from sunrise (sehri) to sunset (iftar), and abstain from all pleasures. Through these acts of devotion, Muslims can feel closer to their God, Allah. They also experience greater faith in their religion this way. In fact, during this fasting month, Muslims are also expected to reflect spiritually through prayers, and improve themselves via remembering and living their lives around the Five Pillars of Islam.
Hari Raya Puasa is a day of celebration, when Muslims mark the end of their Ramadan period. It stands for “grand day for rejoicing”. During this day, Muslims would prepare feasts, wear new clothes, conduct home visits, and exchange gifts and green packets (sampul hijau). This is to mark the importance of gratitude to their Allah/God, and recognize the virtues of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Thus, Muslims would delight with the greeting “Selamat Hari Raya” (Have a happy and great celebration), followed by “Maaf zahir dan batin” (Forgive me for all my mistakes). In addition, families and relatives would gather for prayers in both the morning and evening (at the Mosque, usually), food sharing (salu-salo), giving of gifts (Eidi), and visitation of the graves of their loved ones, and the sick and elderly. These are the hallmarks of commemorating Hari Raya Puasa.
How To Prepare for Hari Raya Puasa?
In 2021, 13th of May is a public holiday in Singapore because it is marked as the day of Hari Raya Puasa. That said, remember that Hari Raya Puasa lasts for 24 hours! So, be prepared not just for activities from morning to night, but for activities starting from the evening before the “actual (Gregorian Calendar) day”!
Indeed, with so many things to do, it would be best to get organized. Yet, are you bewildered by so many different hari raya tips online? Before you start panicking, and forgetting things to do, let us at MEIDE help you. Do the more important things first, and never miss a thing, with our comprehensive guide on the one-and-only 8 things to prepare for Hari Raya Puasa:
8 Things To Prepare for Hari Raya Puasa
- Conduct Repairs and Maintenance
- Pack and Clean Your House
- Decorate Your House
- Go Shopping
- Book Your Car Rental / Service Your Car Early
- Clean and Tidy Up Again!
- Prepare Your Gifts, Green Envelopes, and Feasts
- Prepare Your Mind and Body
Let’s elaborate more:
1. Conduct Repairs and Maintenance
First, fix that leaking tap. Then, tighten your shelves and cupboard hinges. Actually, do up as much repairs as possible, because Hari Raya Puasa is a day to commemorate a new start, reflections and forgiveness. Hence, why not take this opportunity to patch the defects at home (yes, we mean it physically and spiritually)? Change out light bulbs that are malfunctioning, unclog drains, fix the faulty blinds, and remove the dirty laundry stains! All these may seem daunting. However, with teamwork, roping in friends and family members, you would definitely make things easier!
If not, hit us up at MEIDE.SG – we can do all these and more for you – household services and cleaning, including handyman repair works, laundry services, packing/unpacking, and can even help you service your air conditioning units (KIV chemical wash)!
Book your #1 home services today, or join our team!
meide.sg is here for you, always.
2. Pack and Clean Your House
Now that your repairs and maintenance are done (or even if they are not fully done), start packing and cleaning! There is no time to waste. We say pack first, because if your house is cluttered, there is no way to properly clean everything in time. Remember what Marie Kondo famously advocated for: keep the item ONLY and ONLY IF it does spark joy. Also, just in case everything sparks joy, remember that the more items you keep, the more you have to clean!
Once you have disposed of unwanted, old or spoilt items, move on to think about recycling, reusing or donating your items too. In a time of giving like Hari Raya, gifting to the needy is will bring hearty spirits to both you and your receiver(s)! And before you start cracking your brains on how to start the massive cleaning work, why not check out our CLEANING MADE EASY guide by MEIDE.SG here? After that, come up with the cleaning schedule and delegate tasks. Furthermore, cleaning fosters team spirit and bonding when you involve your whole family! It adds to a sense of belonging to the home. Additionally, tune up some music for everyone to enjoy!
If you do require more tips on how to clean your house, such as how to clean the toilet, the vinyl flooring, or the fabric sofa, all our cleaning hacks are available free of charge HERE!
3. Decorate Your House
After your first round of packing and cleaning, your house is almost ready to receive guests. However, before you overdo things and turn decorations into clutter, let us at MEIDE recommend just 4 essential Hari Raya decorations for you! A good rule of thumb when decorating your house is – “less is more”!
(1) Use removable and recyclable artwork
Cash strapped? No problem. Go to any royalty free image website, such as Pexels, Pixabay or Unsplash, position it nicely on a Google Doc or Google Slides document, and print it absolutely free of charge from your workplace. (Pst, do not tell your boss we said this)! If you have older kids or teenagers, they may very well have done art pieces in school too. Do not waste these. Put them up and they serve as good conversation starters when guests come over!
As it is Hari Raya, the recommended artwork would be Islamic calligraphy, related drawings, moon and stars. If you are not too tight on budget, why not spend a few dollars to support our local artists and stationary stores? Finally, always use Blu-Tack instead of sticky tape or glue, to avoid damage to your precious walls and wallpapers!
(2) Choose a color scheme with maximum 3 colors
Enough said, don’t go for a rainbow, hot pink, or lime green color color scheme. Even though it may be your favorite color, it is best to stick to the regular festive, and homely, natural and earth shades. These include silver, gold, pale green and pastel colors. They symbolize harmony and peace. In addition, try to use just 1, 2 or a maximum of 3 colors. Moreover, this will make things more focused. Find floor mats, table liners, runners, and pelmet and curtains that are in line with your color scheme. Remember to coordinate your hair, makeup, clothing, nails and even contact lens colors, for the whole family!
(C) Use fairy lights
Fairy lights never fail to bring cheer during gatherings! They are inexpensive, easy to store, and versatile as a decorative item. Additionally, to all our delight, fairy lights can be used and reused for every occasion. Besides Hari Raya, you can use them for birthday celebrations, baby showers, weddings, Christmas and anniversaries, just to name a few. Again, use Blu-Tack to stick them in any creative fashion along your walls or ledges. It is best to get those that allow batteries to be replaced. Remember to find one of appropriate length too. Popular spots to place these are at the entrances, feature walls, bedside and dining area.
(D) Go green with fresh plants and flowers
In fact, decorating your house does not mean killing more trees! Keep them alive by placing them at suitable spots in your abode, with sufficient sunlight and air. Ideal locations for these “green” ornaments are the kitchen, bathroom (those with windows), living room, and balcony. Who knows, a start of a new year, might be the start of a new healthy hobby of gardening for you too! By the time it is 2022, 2023, 2024 and beyond, your plants and flowers might even have sprouted younglings for you to further decorate or give away to others.
Quick Summary On How To Decorate For Hari Raya
In summary, the best way to decorate for Hari Raya Puasa, in 4 easy ways, is (1) use removable and recyclable artwork (2) choose a color scheme with maximum 3 colors; (3) use fairy lights; and (4) go green with fresh plants and flowers!
Oh yes, one final pro tip: get your decorations from an online marketplace for goods exchange or re-selling or re-blessing – such as Carousell!
4. Go Shopping
This is every lady’s dream! Indeed, Hari Raya preparations could not exclude shopping. As a matter of fact, there are so many things to buy, that MEIDE ought to list them out here. Please do create your shopping check list, so as not to miss out any one item!
- New clothes – Baju Kurung for the ladies and Baju Melayu for the gentlemen;
- New accessories for hair, nails and face, including make-up supplies;
- New bedsheets, cushion covers, carpets, and home fittings;
- Cooking tools and crockery;
- Cooking and baking ingredients;
- Snacks and goodies;
- Green Packets;
- Presents / Gifts for friends and relatives;
- Decorations (as above, if required);
- Cleaning equipment and supplies (as above, if required).
5. Book Your Car Rental / Service Your Car Early
In current times, the COVID-19 pandemic may create visiting restrictions for us. However, this does mean that it is ever more important to prioritize and plan your route for visiting. Given that you only have “limited chances” to visit, remember to book your car rental (if you do not own a vehicle), or service your vehicle (if you own one), to avoid any hiccups en route to your relatives’ house.
Furthermore, once this pandemic is over (yes, it will be, eventually!), the hype of visiting would return. This would mean a really high demand for vehicle rentals during the festive Hari Raya season. It is thus, as always, crucial to book and service cars early, in preparation for Hari Raya Puasa.
6. Clean and Tidy Up Again!
Next up, repeat step 2. This is because after all your decorations, shopping, unpacking and packing, it is certain your house would be untidy again. By now, quite a few days or weeks may have passed.
Remember to always keep your house cleaned regularly. By doing so, it would make spring cleaning less tedious! As a general guide, sweep and mop your floor daily, wipe down your windows every few days, and vacuum curtains, upholstery and sofa weekly. Also, do not forget your toilet and kitchen cleaning, for which the frequency may range from daily to weekly. Lastly, wipe down and dry your furniture, oven, fridge, and fans at least once a week too.
When it comes to spring cleaning, all of these must be done at once, to meet the “deadline” of Hari Raya Puasa. However, do not stress out, because MEIDE.SG has spring cleaning services available for booking, right here. Moreover, if you need help with ironing, changing the bedsheets, or do further packing and unpacking, our helpers can assist too. Engage professional cleaning help early. We believe your time can be so much better spent on the things you love doing, of course!
Book your #1 home services today, or join our team!
meide.sg is here for you, always.
7. Prepare Your Gifts, Green Envelopes, and Feasts
At last, the big day is drawing near. By now, you should have most things ready. If not, quickly scroll up and read our article to do the necessary!
Now, starting wrapping, packing and labelling your gifts. Visit your bank or ATM early to avoid long queues. Pack your green packets. Alternatively, ensure your digital payment modes (eg. PayLah!, PayNow, Pay Anyone, etc) are working, because e-packets are rather “in” these days too!
In preparation for the Hari Raya feast, you got to start early too. First, clear out your fridge of expired foods and ingredients. These would make way for the new foodstuffs you have bought. Next, prepare your ingredients by chopping greens and seasoning the meats. Finally, when just before Hari Raya arrives, lay out your cutlery and start cooking!
8. Prepare Your Mind and Body
With so many things to do, it is ever more vital to have a good healthy physique and mentality throughout Ramadan, in preparation for Hari Raya Puasa.
A Good Body During Ramadan
A good physical health basically means eating healthy and a balanced diet, whilst maintaining a regular and hearty workout regime. Therefore, avoid overeating during iftar! Count the calories, and maintain a good calorie intake over the two meals – suhur and iftar. This means you can eat more for each meal, but still maintain a healthy consumption regime! Also, keep to low-GI foods which would release sugar more gradually. Besides, if you are having more sedentary activities and lifestyle during Ramadan, it would mean that you may need to cut calorie intake. If in doubt, always consult a dietitian or physician!
Nonetheless, one is not limited to a sedentary lifestyle during Ramadan. You can still exercise, but avoid overly strenuous activities. Keep to light jogging, swimming, or simple static exercises. Non-competitive friendly ball and racket games are welcomed too!
No time to exercise? No worries! Take simple steps like opting for the staircase, walking instead of taking the bus/car, and doing more housework. Yes, you can lose calories by doing housework! The heavier the chores, the more you sweat and the more calories you lose. If you are keen to lose calories and even earn some extra bucks on the side, why not join us at MEIDE.SG as a helper? We offer both part time, flexible work, and full time arrangements!
At MEIDE.SG, we offer you flexible work schedule, incredible high pay for both part timers and full timers, and many other employment benefits!
A Good Mind During Ramadan
A good mentality basically means at peace, calm, organized and not stressed over things. During Ramadan and Hari Raya Puasa, this is done by adhering to the five basic pillars of Islam, praying, fasting, professing faith at holy sites, giving and donating, and planning and doing pilgrimage. Maintaining good relationships and communication with your family and close ones definitely helps too. On our part, we really hope this guide to preparing and cleaning for Ramadan and Hari Raya helps soothe your nerves!
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How To Clean For Hari Raya Puasa?
Amongst the 8 things to prepare for Hari Raya Puasa discussed above, you would have noticed that there are two times we mentioned cleaning, packing and tidying up. We cannot emphasize this enough. Hear it directly from MEIDE the cleaning experts on how to clean for hari raya puasa quickly and efficiently. Here are 3 tips to clean for hari raya, without any headache.
- Plan Ahead Regardless
- Conduct A Pre-Hari Raya Puasa Cleaning
- Remember To Schedule Post-Celebratory Cleaning
1. Plan Ahead Regardless
At this point, you may have an idea of how and when you would go about your cleaning. If not, quickly take a read above! Whether you are planning to do it yourself, engage professionals, or have a combination of both, it always pays to plan ahead.
If you are planning to do D.I.Y cleaning, it is important to have a schedule and task list. This will help you to prioritize the more urgent and crucial tasks for cleaning. Having a timetable will also enable you to delegate household tasks to family members, so that everyone works unitedly!
If you are planning to arrange a professional helper, book one early. This is simply because it is a festive period, and all other households and families would be facing a similar situation as you. Thus, to avoid a last minute headache, book one early. MEIDE.SG is always here and ready for your booking! Furthermore, even though MEIDE does not implement surcharges (at the point of writing), there are various other cleaning companies who would slap on last minute, urgent or peak period extra charges (de facto). Scheduling our home cleaning as early as possible would even help you avoid this rude shock!
2. Conduct A Pre-Hari Raya Puasa Cleaning
Hari Raya Puasa Cleaning is a type of spring cleaning. As mentioned, it involves quite a large number of tasks. Hence, other than planning it ahead of time, it should be done in an organized fashion. Here is our rough workflow to help you:
- Clean from the inside out, top to bottom, or left to right!
- Clean the master bedroom followed by the master toilet
- Wipe down all windows, blinds, curtains, ceiling fans and lights
- Wipe down all shelves, cabinets, and furnitures
- Vacuum curtains, upholstery and sofa
- Change the bedsheets
- Do the laundry
- Arrange carpet cleaning
- Clean the walls, doors and corners
- Clean the all the other rooms and washrooms
- Clean the living and dining room
- Clean appliances like the fridge, oven and stove
- Sweep and mop the floors, scrub and do grout cleaning if required
- Clean the kitchen, laundrette, yard and balcony
- Clear Trashbins
3. Remember To Schedule Post-Celebratory Cleaning
Last but not least, you may have to repeat your spring cleaning steps above, after your Hari Raya Puasa celebrations! Again, plan this ahead of time. Conduct your MEIDE professional cleaning service booking early, or plan a schedule early if you are planning to do it yourself. After all, your family members and you may also have to take additional post-holiday leave to clear up the house after the feasting and visiting. This is a non-exhaustive list of tasks to help you.
In addition to the spring cleaning tasks above, you should:
- Wash and clear dishes, cutlery and table clothes
- Take down and recycle or reuse decorations
- Pack items
- Rearrange furnitures if they have been shifted
- Change cushion covers, sofa covers, and other linen as required
- Do laundry
- Wipe down and disinfect surfaces (especially important post-visiting)
- Clear trash bins
In fact, a post-celebratory cleaning can be more tedious than spring cleaning. No doubt that you have done the spring cleaning just beforehand. However, you may only be able to skip the same cleaning steps, provided nobody had dirtied the area you cleaned previously! Fret not, because we at MEIDE are specialized in post-party and festive cleaning too. Just give us a WhatsApp ring or text to learn more – we don’t bite!
Finally, here is wishing you a fulfilling and meaningful Ramadan and Eid Murbarak!
Book your #1 home services today, or join our team!
meide.sg is here for you, always.