I remember, as a child how excited i was eagerly counting (and fasting) out the days to it. For a holiday that you really must earn it in order to celebrate it, Hari Raya is a joyous and victorious event indeed. And what childhood memory is complete without the 'balik kampung', 'bunga api', 'duit raya' and the other decorative accouterments that make the whole day special.
As I got older and more jaded, Hari Raya inevitably lost it magic somewhat. 'Balik kampung' means taking leave to visit relatives you hardly knew. Playing 'bunga api' is childish and immature (perhaps out of jealousy? hehe...). And instead of receiving 'duit raya', you are now the one to fork it out to fake grinning kids with $$$ signs in there eyes.
Despite the Mr Scrooge-esque attitude i have towards Hari Raya, there is one thing that I look forward to the most every year. Ultimately, it is the essence and the most important thing about it: Hari Raya is a time to reconnect with family and friends, to seek forgiveness for all our past wrong doings, to turn a new leaf and to start anew.
Yesterday, though somewhat unplanned, I went out to the nearby shopping mall with a friend to buy my baju Melayu and samping. This year its 'Go Green with the Queen' theme as you might have guessed from the pictures. For some reason, I felt giddy as I was trying it out for sizing. Suddenly, I felt like I was a child again, eagerly counting (and fasting) out the days to it (a little over a week to go).
I want to add another meaning to my Hari Raya this year. It is a day of returning to innocence.