Hari Raya Haji, otherwise known as the “Festival of Sacrifice”, is celebrated over a period of three days by Muslims all over the world. It commemorates the Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son in the name of God. He realized later that this act was a mere test from God when his son was removed and a ram was put in his place to be sacrificed.
This is why Muslims from all over Singapore contribute their money towards buying cows or rams, usually collectively as a family, to be donated to mosques for sacrifice. On the first morning of the festival, these animals are slaughtered and their meat packed up and distributed among the Muslim community, especially to families that are less fortunate.
It is during this period too that you may see the Singapore Changi Airport packed with Muslims preparing for their grand pilgrimage to Mecca, locally known as the Hajj, an opportunity that not many can afford. Millions of Muslims from all over the world embark on this pilgrimage each year, and if you can catch a live telecast of all the action on our local television, it is definitely a sight to behold.
But within the city itself, you can partake in the festivities in areas such as Geylang Serai and Kampong Glam, where lively bazaars and dazzling local decorations are held to mark this important day for locals and visitors to soak in the atmosphere.
Dates to note:
Hari Raya Haji – 17 Nov 2010