It is the time of the year again where Muslim all over the world are preparing to celebrate Eid. Malaysians know it as Hari Raya Aidilfitri. “Hari Raya” literally translates to “Big Day”, and Malaysians - being Malaysians - are known to go all out for their celebrations, including clothes, food, entertainment, and so on. Living in a multi-racial and multi-religious country, Malaysians are fortunate enough to celebrate festivities together despite cultural and religious differences. As Malaysia enters into an endemic phase post COVID-19, there is a chance that open houses may be on the table again (subject to SOPs, of course). If you have plans to go visiting your Muslim friends on their big day but you are wondering what to wear for Hari Raya and have no idea what the general Hari Raya attire consist of, we have got you covered!
Hari Raya Attire for Women
The richness of Malay culture results in a diverse and beautiful range of cultural outfits. Almost every state in Malaysia has its own version of Baju Kurung. Malay women are known to exude a sense of style and elegance with their Baju Kurung and Baju Kebaya. Some even wear jubahs, closed robe-like garments that are often beautifully decorated. Baju Kurung are generally a long blouse and skirt set coordinated to match each other, while Baju Kebaya is an intricate top designed to fit the wearer to enhance their silhouette, and is often worn with a sarong, a piece of cloth printed with batik designs. Hari Raya attire for Malaysian Muslim women is usually a grander version of these garment choices. Modern day Baju Kurung are not a simple blouse and skirt combination anymore – many designers take creative liberties to add unique designs and their personal touch to this traditional, elegant outfit.
For non-Muslim women visiting their Muslim friends for Hari Raya, there are no auspicious or taboo colours in the Malay community, so go nuts choosing your colour scheme for the day! (Hint: pastels are IN!). The only thing to consider is to dress modestly, which in Malay culture means not revealing shoulders, cleavage, and knees. A blouse and calf-length skirt are acceptable, as are most ethnic traditional clothes. You could most definitely give your Muslim friends a pleasant surprise by dressing in their traditional outfits as well!
Whether you’re Muslim or non-Muslim, your attire would not be complete without the proper accessories. Comfortable shoes for Raya are a must, as well as handbags for Raya especially if you’re planning to take that Insta-worthy #OOTD picture for the big day! Pastel is in this season, and they can stand out against the designs of your outfit without overwhelming it. Colours like mint green, lilac, and blush are generally easily paired with outfits. Shoulder bags and strappy sandals would look amazing paired with Baju Kebaya. Or if you want to dress in modern attire, a nice pair of heels and a crossbody bag is a look that is customisable.
Hari Raya attire for men is generally very simple. Traditionally, men wear Baju Melayu, which is a long shirt worn with a matching pair of pants, and a “kain sampin”, usually made of the beautiful songket, is worn over the trousers. Some men wear a songkok on their heads to complete the look.
For non-Muslims, you can opt for modern clothes like a shirt and long pants, as long as your knees are not showing when you go visiting a Muslim household. Do not wear clothes that are too fitting.
When it comes to men’s shoes for Raya any of the outfits stated above can be paired with loafers, sandals, or sneakers.