@ Geylang Serai in Singapore
How to get there: Take the MRT and alight at Paya Lebar station on the green line. When you get out of the train station you will see an outdoor market. It’s hard to get lost – follow the row of stalls, crowds or the brightly lit street decor.
The month before Hari Raya is known as Ramadan, which is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. In this month, Muslims fast without food and drink from dawn till dusk, and abstain from sex, smoking and bad speech such as cursing. Healthy adults will fast, with the exception of those who are ill, or are pregnant, breastfeeding or pregnant. Muslims also engage in more prayer activity during this period. Hari Raya Aidilfitri is the occasion that marks the start of the new month at the breaking of the last day of fasting.
Geylang Serai comes alive with a huge pasar malam (night market) a month before Hari Raya, or Celebration Day.
The pasar malam is filled with stalls selling the Malay ethnic wear (baju kurong for the men and baju kebaya for the women), home furnishings and an abundance of Malay snacks and drinks – you can find everything that you need for the festival here! You may go there on an empty stomach and eat your fill buying food from stall to stall as you walk down the night market.
To fully soak in the atmosphere, it’s best to visit nearing Hari Raya itself in the evenings when most people go there to shop for the festivity.
2015 update: The Geylang Serai Hari Raya Bazaar is on from 17 June to 16 July. Hari Raya Aidilfitri falls on 17 July 2015.