Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hari Raya

This is a long weekend, with tomorrow being a public holiday to celebrate 'Hari Raya', the end of a month of fasting for Muslim Malays. It is also the beginning of the lead-up to the Hindu Festival of Deepavali (see below).

Steve's colleague gave us a beautiful box of mooncakes (photos shown), symbolic of a very important Chinese autumn festival, also about this time. They are an acquired taste, but a small piece goes down nicely with a cup of tea!

Rhian has enjoyed his first week at the hostel, despite needing a few good 'sleep-ins' today and yesterday. Jess is getting ready for more exams starting in 10 days. Steve has loads of marking. Celia is socialising every spare minute. Deanie's just had her hair returned to its natural colour. Adam is getting a wee bit more adventurous in the pool. I've had two sessions at the gym this week!!!

We are working on making a big decision in the next week or so, regarding our plans for next year. Very frustrating, but just need a bit more information from some key people. Ciao....

Hari Raya

This is one of the three major festivals in the region, and Hari Raya Puasa literally means ‘the festival marking the end of a period of fasting.’ The festival follows a month of fasting, and the day begins with prayers in the mosque for men, and visits to the cemeteries to pay respects to departed family members, followed by a large meal. This meal usually consists of rendang, ketupat, sambal goreng (fried chilli paste) and serunding (shredded coconut fried with spices).

Deepavali (October/November)This is the Festival of Lights, celebrated by the Hindus. It marks the triumph of good over evil, and is celebrated during the new moon of the seventh month of the Hindu calendar. Rows of oil lamps are lit to welcome the goddess Lakshmi, goddess of wealth, and a range of symbolic foods is served.

Mooncakes are Chinese pastries traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival. The festival is for lunar worship and moon watching; moon cakes are regarded as an indispensable delicacy on this occasion. Mooncakes are offered between friends or on family gatherings while celebrating the festival, one of the three most important Chinese festivals.

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