Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Hari Raya Idul Fitri or Hari Raya Puasa. Hari Raya literally means 'Celebration Day'. Hari Raya Aidilfitri is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). This holiday symbolizes the purification after completing the fasting month which is after the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan, on the first day of Shawwal.
Muslims are commanded by the Qur'an to complete their fast on the last day of Ramadan and then recite the Takbir all throughout the period of Eid (an Arabic word meaning "festivity").
Typically, Muslims wake up relatively early in the morning—always before sunrise— offer Salatul Fajr, clean one's teeth with a Miswaak or a brush, take a shower (Gosul) after Fajr, put on new clothes or the best available, and apply perfume.
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. This has to do with the communal aspects of the fast, which expresses many of the basic values of the Muslim community. Fasting is believed by some scholars to extol fundamental distinctions, lauding the power of the spiritual realm, while acknowledging the subordination of the physical realm.
Shopping malls and bazaars are filled with people days ahead of Idul Fitri, causing a distinctive festive atmosphere throughout the country and traffic mayhem. Many banks, government and private offices are closed for the duration of the Idul festivities, known collectively as the Lebaran.
One of the largest temporary human migrations globally, is the prevailing custom of the Lebaran where workers, particularly unskilled migrants labourers such as maids and construction labourers return to one's home town or city and ask forgiveness from ones' parents, in-laws and elders. This is known as mudik, pulang kampung or in Malaysian balik kampung.
The night before Idul Fitri is filled with the sounds of many muezzin singing the takbir held in the mosques or mushollahs. Especially in rural areas, pelita or panjut or lampu colok (oil lamps, similar to tiki torches) are lit up and placed outside and around the house. Special dishes like ketupat, dodol, lemang (a type of glutinous rice cake cooked in bamboo) and other Indo-Malay (and in the case of Malaysia, also Nyonya) delicacies are served during this day.
It is common to greet people with "Selamat Idul Fitri" or "Salam Aidilfitri" (in Malaysia) which means "Happy Eid". Muslims also greet one another with "maaf zahir dan batin" which means "Forgive my physical and emotional (wrongdoings)", because Idul Fitri is not only for celebrations but a time for atonement: to ask for forgiveness for sins which they may have committed but was cleansed as a result of the fasting in the Muslim month of Ramadan.
It is customary for Muslims to wear a traditional cultural costume on Idul Fitri. For male, baju Melayu, shirt worn with a sarong known as kain samping and a headwear known as songkok. For female, Baju Kurung and baju kebaya, a loose-fitting blouse (which may be enhanced with brocade and embroidery).
Once the prayer is completed, it is common for Muslims to visit the graves of loved ones. During this visit, they clean the grave, recite Ya-Seen, a chapter (sura) from the Qur'an and also perform the tahlil ceremony. All these are done to ask God to forgive the dead and also those who are living for all their sins.
The rest of the day is spent visiting relatives or serving visitors. Idul Fitri is a very joyous day for children as the adults give them money. They also celebrate by lighting traditional bamboo cannon firecrackers known as meriam bambu Ramadhan, using kerosene in large hollow bamboo tubes or Chinese imported crackers. The traditional bamboo cannon, meriam bambu are notoriously loud and can be very dangerous to operator, bystander and even nearby buildings.
In Malaysia, children will be given token sums of money, also known as "duit raya" (literally "celebration money"), from their parents or elders.