Down South: What You Need To Know If You’re Celebrating Hari Raya Across The Border

Down South: What You Need To Know If You’re Celebrating Hari Raya Across The Border

The Lion City gets Raya right with plenty of celebrations! If you’re enjoying the festivities Singapore this year, let this be your guide. (Courtesy of Wisma Geylang Serai.)

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The Singapore-Malaysia border has reopened just in time for the Hari Raya celebrations. As life gradually returns to normal, Malaysians will be spoilt for choice on where to celebrate this year. Family and friends can now reunite more easily thanks to the recently launched Vaccinated Travel Framework between Malaysia and Singapore.

And this year, the Lion City has plenty of celebration-worthy happenings on the ready. So, if you’re enjoying the festivities Singapore this Raya, let this be your guide.

Buka Puasa amidst dazzling holiday lights

At Geylang Serai, you can indulge in festive fare and do some last-minute Raya shopping while taking in the vibrant displays of colour and light. This Ramadan Bazaar features 22 food vendors selling everything from classic beef rendang and sayur lodeh to unique delicacies like ‘Praffles’ by Foodtitude (a waffle base made from waffle and prata batter) and Yakult cake by Ole Ole From now until 8 May 2022. After feasting, you can stroll along Singapore’s Sims Avenue and Changi Road to admire the renowned festival light-ups with a ‘Gotong Royong’ — Unity and Resilience theme.

In addition to the Geylang Serai Hari Raya Light-Ups, the Cinta Cahaya Ramadan campaign is making a reappearance in 2022, with projection mapping that paints the walls of the Sultan Mosque and fairy lights in the prominent area of Kampong Gelam. With Kampong Gelam’s lively nightlife revived and the Ramadan atmosphere livened up, you can also choose from more than 20 F&B booths at Walk Thru Souk’s Bazaar by Laloolalang, which will undoubtedly satisfy your needs, whether it’s classic bazaar must-haves or adventurous fusion street food.

Handcrafted Ramadhan Workshops at Kampong Gelam

Kampong Gelam’s rich traditions, colourful histories, and cultural values can be experienced through a number of hands-on courses that are accessible. Add a personal touch to these unique handmade gifts by making leather crafting Ketupat coin pouches or even personalised incense making, and from printmaking and crafting things like a mini sejadah (prayer rug). They’re thoughtful gifts for family and friends.

Register for the Leather Keypouch Workshop by Crafune here.
Register for the Incense Workshop by Sifr Aromatics here.
Register for the Printmaking and Craft Workshops by Lokka Lekkr Makers Studio here.

Explore Kampong Gelam in a new way

Enjoy a walk through Kampong Gelam with your family and learn about the area’s history and culture on the Aminah in Kampong Gelam theatrical walking tour. As the plot unfolds, you’ll be transported to new locales as part of an immersive theatrical experience. Then, join ‘Makcik Aminah’ as she recounts stories from her childhood and intriguing tales of Singapore, replete with curated stories that reflect the culture, history, and values of Singapore in an entertaining and impactful way. Book your theatrical tour right here.

Boost your #RayaOOTD game with trendy Singaporean brands

Baju by Oniatta‘s new Raya collection — Senandung 1974 — is a must-have for fans of the 1970s and classic Malay fashion silhouettes. Senandung 1974 honours Malay tradition, heritage, and culture by celebrating all things traditional. Batik tulis from Surakarta, Yogyakarta, and Cirebon were specifically chosen for this collection. You can shop the collection at Galeri Tokokita.

Coeur, ELDA’s Eid Collection, is a modern take on the baju Raya that promises both comfort and versatility for your Raya celebration. From the Raya collection by Thea Kids, you can find one and two-piece linen sets in simple yet attractive shareable and wearable patterns for both you and your children.

Wear matching SimplyRays family sets with your loved ones! When it comes to creating coordinated looks for the entire family, this year, the SimplyRays #RaysRaya2022 Collection features an array of family sets in a variety of motifs and colours inspired by everything from batiks to florals.

Raya eats from gourmand establishments to halal bars

The Fairytail Bar By The Halal Mixologist, Singapore’s first halal rooftop gastro bar, is perched atop D’hotel. While enjoying a bird’s eye view of Singapore’s downtown cityscape, sip on handcrafted non-alcoholic cocktails. With mocktails like Asian Koel — prepared with Sumatran coffee beans, cinnamon elixir Gula Melaka, and Sprite; and Toco Toucan — made with lavender elixir, mint leaves, lime juice, and Sprite. This year, they’re also offering a unique Ramadan menu, where you can dine under the stars on a 3- or 4-course evening with seasonal Ramadan mocktails like Robin Merah Jambu and Kurma Fairytail.

Want to eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant on a budget? Visit the five-time winner of the Michelin Bib Gourmand Award, Bismillah Biryani Restaurant, for its dum-style biryani. Incorporating fresh ingredients without MSG, preservatives, or additives, chef-owner Arif Salahuddin has produced a healthier version of this popular meal. The restaurant is also Anthony Bourdain-approved, with specialty dishes like mutton seekh kebab and the most indulgent kulfi.

If you want desserts like Putu Piring or Durian Pengat, The Malayan Council Café has you covered. The café specialises in Malay dishes with a hint of Western influence, combining robust flavours, classic features, and creative combinations to provide an exquisite and unforgettable dining experience. Leave room for traditional Malay desserts with a modern twist, such as Ondeh-Ondeh, Bandung Lychee, Cempedak Sago, and unique combinations like Mango Boba and Chocolate Ovomaltine, which are all waiting for you and your family to sample in Singapore. Yum!

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A journalist by profession, self-proclaimed horror movie expert by passion. Danisha needs to spend more time watching sunsets than Netflix. Ultimately, she's just another girl figuring out her place in the world in between the multitudinous demands of adult life.